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__________THE________- -

GAZETTE
Vol. 2 Nos. 13

New Deihl, 5 July-19 July 1987

Fortnightly

Rupees Two

The President
Sage or
Saboteur?
fter a gap of about
eighteen years and four
Presidential terms , the
office of the President of the
Indian
Republic
is being
contested seriously once again .
The last serious contest for the
office took place in 1969 wlien
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy the
official Congress candidate,
was opposed by a faction of the
Congress Party itself. This
faction was led by Prime
Minister Indira Gandhi who
supported V.V . Giri , technically
an independent, and helped
him win .
The contest in 1969 was
important in view of the
speculations
regarding
the
powers of the President to
dismiss the Prime Minister and
the alleged plans to use those
powers by the Congress faction
known as the "Syndicate "

against the leadership of Mrs .


Gandhi. This faction in the
majority in the then Congress
Working
Committee ,
had
forced the candidature of
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy against
Mrs.
Gandhi 's
choice
of
Jagjiwan Ram .
A somewhat similar situation
prevails once again . In view of
the recent developments with
regard to the relationship
between the President and the
Prime Minister, claims and
attempts by various groups and
parties for the Prime Minister's
dismissal by the President,
asse rtion by President Zail
Singh of his rightto be informed
and
claims
of
complete
ministerial superiority by Prime
Minister Rajiv Gandhi and his
supporters , the question of
President's powers and their
use have become significant

V.R . Kri shna Iyer. A Mission not Contest

In This Issue

Page
States Dependence 3
on Centre
Restructuring
4
Punjab Economy
Policy Towards
8
Punjab
Communalism and
Secularism in India 9
Short Story
12
Long Trek to
16
Jodhpur

issues. This time not only is it ar


academic issue it is also a
matter of real political concern.
More
important
is
the
observation of Giani Zail Singh
that he is leaving it to his
successor 'to take up the issue.
How far and in what direction
the successor takes' this issue
depends upor who wins the
election?

The choice

n all likelihood the Congress


nominee Sh . R Venkataraman will be elected. Given
the com position of the electoral
college which includes the
members of Parliament and
State assemblies and the

A.S. Narang

relative value of votes the


Opposition candidate Justice
V.R. Krishna Iyer (retd .) can win
only if there is a significant
cross
voting
by
the
Congressmen .
Such
a
possiblity,
though
not
impossible, does not appear to
be on the cards, at least for the
time being .
It is not because there are no
dissensions or conflicts in the
party. Dissensions are there but
presumably these will not come
In the open . The reason is
simple
the
character
of
Congress legislators . The type
of M. Ps and M.L.As the
Congress (I) has at present are
more concerned with their
personal gains rather than
commitment to any ideology or
programme. They, therefore,
have their eyes on their
unfinished term, their perks and
pensions and all that goes with
being a legislator and a member
of the ruling party. They know
that the most probable out
come of their revolt would be
the dissolution of the Lok
Sabha and new elections. In
that situation most of them will
be neither here nor there . So
why take any risk?
For the time being , the
Opposition
too
is
.not
completely united . Apart from
parties like the AIADMK and the
National Conference and some
smaller parties of the North East
expressing their support for the
Congress nominee, the BJP, so
far, is keeping itself at a
distance
from
both
the
Congress and the vppositinn
candidates .

Emerging Issues
Will Mr. Venkatraman, if
elected ,
continue
the
controversy or debate raised by
Giani Zail Singh. At least the
element of personal antagonism will disappear for Rajiv
Gahdhi has some what softer
feelings for Mr. Venkataraman
than he had for Giani Zail
Singh. In all likelihood he will be
given
due
respect
and
recognition
by the Prime
Minister and his men . However
this does . not settle the issue
which got posed so sharply.
This is for two reasons ; Firstly,
Contiuned

on page 10

R. Venkataraman. Will he continue the debate?

The Muslim H.G.


Mind
Deshpande
The Meerut riots and its spill
over Delhi both started over
non - issues. In Meerut after a
fight between a landlord and a
tenant and in Delhi after a tiff
between an eve teaser and a
xouple . They were not causes
of the riots but symptoms of
Simmering tension that was
slowly but surely building up
between the Hindus and the
Muslims.
Neither the riots nor the
killings by the Provincial Armed
constabulary in Meerut were a
new
phenomena
for
the
Muslims.
Whether it was
Moradabad, or Aligarh or
Meerut, the Muslims had always
suffered and borne the brunt
because of the administration's
antlmuslim stance, particularly,
of Uttar Pradesh's communal
para-military force, the PAC.
Over the year. they had quite
accepted the fact. The eruption
this time In both Meerut and
Deihl was an expression of an
anger that stemmed from
elsewhere.
Since
independence
the
Muslims have been at the
receivinft end in India. Even as
citizens of this country they
have been denied rights and
denied constantly. They have
suffered a economic insecurity
and
physical
insecurity
following frequent riots but
none of it united them or made
their alienation as collective as
this time .
The problem started with the
Supreme Court judgement in
the
Shah
Bano
case
interpretting the Quran. As
Syed Shahbuddin, M P and a

Muslim leader puts it: "The case


was not important in itself but
became symbolic-who is the
Supreme
Court judge
to
interpret the QuranT Hence
when the issue of Muslim
Personal law was raised they
united
to
protect
their
fundamental right. This siege
complex in the Muslims that has
been building up culminated in
the Babri Masjid issue .
Take over of Masjlds
There is evidence that several
Masjids were taken over ',arlier
in various parts of the country
by Hindu fundamentC',iists but it
did not evoke any reaction .
Babri Masjd was viewed as a
culmination of a process that
had begun to challenge Islam-a
process that had earlier caused
physical insecurity, economic
insecurity, cultl:lral insecurity
and was now threatening their
religion. The decision to open
the gates of Ram Janmabhoomi
to Hindus, says Shahbuddin ,
was a "contrived order" . " It was
an order based on the Senior
Superintendant of Police and
Deputy Commissioner who
gave an asurance to the
sessions judge that if a law and
order situation arose they
would control. The order was
implemented within twenty
minutes, which is unheard of ,
and without giving a hearing to
the
Muslims."
When
the
administrative machinery fails
to give a hearing to the common
man it is bound to breed
hostility. Naturally, the Muslims
construed it as a challenge to
Contiuned on page 2

THE

FORUM

Media wath

------------------------------------------------~GAZEnC--------------------------------------------------

What goes in CRPF


-camps in Punjab
Ow the CRPF gives third
degree torture to those
who
happen
to
be
suspects in their eyes and how
it acts in an autocratic manner
is revealed in a report of the
Indian Post, Bombay in its issue
of June 23, 198??
"Blind-folded and hog-tied,
Mr. Amrik singh a school
teacher from Jhanjotti village,
30
kms
from
Amritser,
alternately shrieked and fainted
as Central Reserve Police Force
(CRPF) men stuffed red chillies
up his rectum with bamboos for
eight consecutive days from
May 23 to June 1.
"The soft-spoken 42-year-old
teacher was beaten senseless
by rifle butts, starved and
dehumanised by CRPF jawans
under the supervision of the
Deputy
Commandant,
Mr.
Mahabir Singh, posted in the
Ajnala area."
"The CRPF officer, egged on
by Mr. Amrik Singh's brother,
Mr. Harjit Singh, both of whom
are involved in a family wrangle,

tried to pin on the schoolmaster the recent killings of


three Hindus in the village by
alleged terrorists. The families
of those killed rose in Amrik
Singh's defence, but were
unable to saway Mr. Mahabir
Singh's convictions."
"Picked up from his house by
the CRPF on May 23 morning,
Mr. Amrik Singh was beaten by
an inebriated Mr. Mahabir
Singh .
"Blind-folded and tied Amrik
Singh was carried by a jeep to
an
unknown
CRPF adda
(camp). Mr. Mahabir singh's
supervision of his torture and
raucous abuse are only things
Amrik
Singh
remembers
clearly".
Giving the details, the report
June
1,
still
said , "On
blindfolded, a semi-conscious
Amrik Singh, the lower half of
his body numb, was thrown by
the roadside."
"Totall,! disorientated and
having no idea how long he was
in CRPF custody, he was picked .

up by a truck heading for


Delhi."
"Amrik
Singh's
two
colleagues, Mr. Hardev Singh
and Mr. Lakhbir Singh, who
went to the CRPF camp at the
Degree College, Ajnala seeking
his release, were detained and
their houses raided".
The report quotes Mr. Satpal
Dang , CPI leader, who took up
this case as saying, " Both
police and the CRPF think that
the President's rule is their
rule".
The repol1 further says,
"Imposition of President's rule
in Punjab has made little or ;'0
difference to the situation.
Apathy
to
killings
and
shootings, harassment of Sikhs
and a sense of general ennui
envelops the State law and
order machinerv" .

Side Lights

for the welfare of this man and


not the weapon he was
carrying .
Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Chief
Minister
of
Jammu
and
Kashmir, unaccampanied by
any paraphernalia, also paid a
visit to Sadhu Mohan that day.
When he was about to leave, I
.suggested to him to speak to
God to put compassion in the
hearts of the Centre for
releasing hundreds of innocents
who are languishing in Jodhpur
without . trial so that the
precious life of the Sadhu could
be saved . With an innocent
smile rediating his face, he
replied that he was already
speaking to God but he did not
appear to listen. He will
however, continue to do so, Dr.
Farooq said wit,h a grim face
and walked back t6:-his car.

Muslim Mind

When on 21st June Sadhu


Mohan went on an indefinite
fast at Rajghat (later removed to
Gandhi Peace Foundation) for
the release of the detainees in
Jodhpur and other jails, many
important personalities visited
him to share his concern for
human rights .
The oppositions preSidential
candidate Shri V.R . Krishna Iyer
as that any aide or security met
the Sadhu and spoke to him
something
in
confidence,
apparently in Malyalam. The
Chief Minister of Punjab S.
Surjit Singh Barnala together
with his followers ana security
persons was already there. I
wished Shri Krishna Iyer good
luck in the election. Putting his
hand on one of the gun toting
security personal, he smiled
and added that he was fighting

Gurmukh Singh Jeet)

The words used by the Prime Minister are undoubtedly an


articulation of this philosophy. It cannot mean casting aspersions
on anyone in particular.
(Vasant Sathe, Cabinet Minister)

THE

FORUM
GAZETTE

Managing- Editor
Amrik Singh
Editors
G.S. Sandhu, A.S. Narang
Circulation
Lt. Col. Manohar Singh(retd.)
Publishers
Ekta Trust
2-26 Sarva Prlya Vlhar
New Deihl 110016
Ph. 660738
Business
3-MasJld Road , Jangpura
Bhogal ,
N.,w Deihl 110014
Ph. 694756

5 July-19 July 1987

The report further quotes Mr.


Dang as saying, "President's
rule
merely
serves
. in
perpetuating and legitimising
harassment".

Sound and Fury


Should I reply to every dog that barks.
(Prime Minister, Shr i Rajiv Gandhi)
I may be a dog that barks, but my barking has clearly rattled the PM.
I also assure him that my bite is worse than my bark. I do not feei
insulted in the least, for dogs do not tell lies and they bark when see
a thief. I am proud to be a watchdog of democracy.
(Ram Jethmalani leading lawyer)
I learnf'my English from professors of the language and not from
air-hostesses.
(Madhu Dandavate)
This remark of the Prime Minister was a little too harsh.
(Prem Shankar Jha, Editor Hindustan Times)
This is the language of the street. No Prime Minister talks like this. It
is such language which enables Arun Shourie to call the Prime
Minister a double faced liar and get away with it.
(Romesh Thapar, Editor Seminar)
Basically his remark shows the calibre of the person . It shows he is
totally frustrated and panic-stricken .
( Ajit Singh President Lok Dal (A)
One of the casualties of Rajiv's newfound aggressiveness is the
image of a gentle; gracious man, inexperienced but urbane and
considerate.
(Current)

On persistent inquiries, it was said he did not want to talk about it.
(Girilal Jain, Editor Times of India)
The utterances of persons holding high public office are expected
to be marked by restraint, consideration and dignity.
.
I am sorry that such a sense of dignity is conspicuous by its
absense in the case of the Prime Minister.
(Anand Sharma, President Youth Congress)

Continued from page 1

their very existence by the state


executive and the judiciary.
This anger became visible
when nearly two lakh Muslims
from all over the country
gathered at the Boat Club on
March 30 to express their
resentment, anger and anguish .
For
the first time after
independence the Muslims
stood united over the Babri
Masjid issue that had come to
symbolise their apprehensions
and
aspirations.
Not
surprisingly then when the
Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed
Abdullah Bukhari, warned the
government about the powder
keg which could set the nation
on f ire the Slogans like "Nara-etakbeer" "Allah 0 Akbar" rent
the air expressing the rage of
tbe Muslims. It was not anger
targetted directly at the Hindus
but the executive which had
become instrumental in giving
fillip' to Hindu fundamentalism .
The process coupled with the
recent riots not only added to
the existing powder keg but
totally alienated the Muslims
from the mainstream-and the
trouble is far from over.

NEWSHOUND

Such aberrations should be treated as aberrations and should not


be given undue importance.
(Amrita, Pritam, MP, Punjabi writer)
I would not like to express an opinion on such issues even though I
have retired from the Supreme Court.
(Justice P.N. Bhagwati (retd)
Not the kind of dignified language to be used by a person in such
high office. It is the language used in tea and paan shops. Similarly
the expression "Nani yaad kara denge" was not fit to be used by a
head of the Government. What Rajiv Gandhi is dOing is digging his
own grav,e, politically, particularly in view of the continueous
political reverses, the latest of which came in Haryana.
(Saifuddin ChOWdhury, MP.)

The Prime Minister's outburst against Shri Ram Jethmalani who


has been a parliamentarian and an eminent leader of public opinon
even if one disagrees with him and a forceful and an eminent leader
of the legal profession make one sad. It is a sad commentary on an
immature Prime Minister who explodes at the slightest provocation
forgetting that he is accountable to every citizen .
(K.P. Unnikrishnan)
His remark is part of a series of uncouth remarks unecorning of a
Prime Minister. The Prime Minister's remark is evident also of panic
and loss of nerve.
(L.K. Advani President BJP)

By Rap

THE

FORUM

Perspective

----------------------------------------------------GA~--------------------------------------------~------

Federalism in India

States' Financial Dependence


on the Centre
K.S. Gili

mines,
roads
and
road
n essential requirement
for the preservation of a transport, administrative and
federal state structure is cultural buildings, shares and
that each level of government debentures
of
companies,
must be basically, if not wholy, loans, etc.) or reduces the ir
self-relient with regard to
financial
liabilities
(for
financ ial resources required for example, repayment of debts to
due
discharge
of
its
the
Centre, the financial
responsibilities
under
the
institutions, or the public) . In
Constitution .
contrast,
their
revenue
financial
Excessive
expenditure neither adds to
dependence of one level of
assets; nor reduces financial
government on the other
liabilities. Such is, for instance,
inevitably erodes, over time, the
their,expenditure on police and
authority, role and freedom of
administrative services , interest
action of the former and
payments on State debts,
eventually brings about a basic
Of
government
change in the state structure. salaries
teachers , doctors and welfare
Indeed, in India, such a process
grants
to
personnel,
has been under way since the
very commencement of the
municipalities, panchayats and
Constitution in 1950.
. aided schools, purchase of
It
pl~ked
up
further
medicines for hospitals and
momentum In the 1980s. As a
stationaryi for offices, etc.
result of the States' serious and
From the standpoint of
growing financial dependence
development of the State
on resource transfers from the
economy, capital expenditure
Centre, their role In the Indian
on asset creation is of great
polity as originally envl ..ged In
importance. In recent years, this
the Constitution has b.. n
expenditure has formed well '
Incre..lngly undermined and
over 60% of States' total
the country Is defacto visibly
Budgetary outlay on State
moving further away from the
Plans. In this article states have
federal concept.
-een taken to include Union
States depend on resource
Territories with legislature. Of
transfers from the Centre for
the four such UTs at the end of
financing both their revenue
March 1986, two (Mizoram ana
and capital expenditure. The
Arunachal
Pradesh)
were
capital expenditure of States is
raised to Statehood in 1986-87
that which either adds to their
and one (Goa) on 30 May 1987.
assets (for example , investment
The fourth (Pondicharry) might
land
and
irrigation
in
follow suit before long .
development, factories and

Dependence for
Revenue Expenditure
The data compiled by the
Union Finance ministry from
the State Budgets and given in
the annual issues of the album
Economic
entitled
" Indian
Statistics-Public
Finance"
show that over the 11 year
period from 1974-75 to 1985-86
(R.E.), the proportion of States'
revenue expenditure financed
by revenue from State taxes and
non-tax sources has declined
from 66.6% to 55.8%, that is, by
as much as 10.8 percent.

Correspondingly H,e States


dependence
on
various
channels of revenue transfers
from the Centre has gone up
Dependence
for
Capital
from 33.4% to 44.2% of this
Expenditure
expenditure . If this trend .
The States' dependence on
persists,
the
states'
the Centre is particularly severe
dependence
on
revenue
with respect to finanCing of this
transfers from the Centre might capital expenditure. The states'
capital
receipts
rise by the close of the 1980s to own
comprising (i) net borrowing
around 50% of thier revenue
from
the
capital
market,
expenditure .
financial institutions and others
In the past revenue transfer
(including ways and means
from the centre have generally
advances and overdrafts from
exceeded the amount of State's
the Reserve Bank), (ii) recovery
shortfall in own resources for
of government loans and
financing
their
revenue
advances,
(iii) net accretion to
expenditure.
The
excess
State
Provident
Funds, deposits
transfer has enabled the States
advances, reserve funds etc.
to show a revenue surplus in
held
with
the
State
most years . This surplus
Government, and (iv) other
reflects not healthy State
miscellanceus capital receipts
finance
but
centre's
are largely absorbed in meeting
"generosity" to its dependents. repayments due on the States'
The Centre has perSisted in this
rapidly growing indebtedness
" generosity" , even though,
to the Centre, estimated as at
---O--th---h--h--d----I--------"!"'--. since 1979-80, it has had itself the end of 1986-87 at the huge
n e ot er an ,certa n supra-and antlto suffer sharply rising deficits
amount of RS .43,737 crores
people social forces and their leading
on revenue and hence overall
(including Rs . 1075 crores of
personalities, In their ruthless drive for
(combined revenue and capital)
UT Governments' debts).
The balance available fo(
unbridled dominance and exploitation of
account.
India's teeming millions of a~1 linguistic,
The Centre can Indulge In financing States' other, mostly
capital
. '
.
sustained fiscal mlsmanage- developmental ,
cultural and ethnic groups have, among other '
ment of this sort as there Is no expenditure is meagre. The
of
capital
steps, made use of the Constitutions', Internal
statutary, limit on Its recourse proportion
expenditure financed by th is
unbalances and departures from the strict
to deficit financing (that Is, net
balance has declined from
federal concept to embark on a relentless
borrowing from the Reserve 33.2% in ' 1984-85 to 24.9% in
Bank to finance the overall
centralisation drive which Is IncreaSingly
deficit). Thecountry'uconomy 1985-86 (R.E.) and a mere
16.8% in 1986-87 (B.E.) . For
eroding Its essentlaly federal character.
Inevitably hastobeerthecostof
L..._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _..... this mismanagement. But for
balance
financing
the
expend~ure, except for the
the demand neutralizing Impact
small proportion that the States
Table
of
huge
annual
Import
might finance by their usual
Dependence of the States on Central Transfers (1951-84)
surpluses (that Is, the exce .. of surplus in revenue account
(figures in percentage)
Imports over exports of goods (mentioned above), they are
and services) the economy dependent on fresh borrowing
Plan Period
would have been by now from the Centre.
II
III
AP
IV
V
VI engulfed In severe Inflation as a
Overdrafts
result of excessive ' deficit'
1 Revenue transfer
For several years prior to
.flnanclng by the Centre In
as percentage
October 1985, a growing
recent year. (Rs. 8285 croresln
reven l,!e ex pen22.4 28 .2 33 .4 35.1 39 .5 40.4 41.4 1986-87 alonel).
number of States had begun to
diture of
resort
to
unauthorized
The
unprecedented
import
states
surplus
of
recent
years , overdrafts from the Reserve
2. Loans as perhowever, involves its own Bank to finance a portion of
71 .9 58.7 64.5 63.2 63.2 83.1 74.6
centage of
onerous costs. A major one, their expenditure. Every few
capital expenamong others, is that the years (1972-73,1978-79, 1982diture of States
country has to suffer a huge and 83, 1983-84 and 1985-86) the
Government
was
3. Aggregate
peristent
current
account Central
to
regularise the
transfers as
balance of payment deficit, as obliged
41.6 much as Rs . 5958 crores in position by granting special
37.8 39.8 45 .7 45.2 47.4 42 .
percentage of
expenditure of
1985-86 alone! The financing of loans to enable the concerned
States
to
clear
their
states
this
deficit
involves
an accumulated
unauthorized
equivalent increase in the overdrafts . The Centre financed
Source: K.K. George and I.S. Gulati, " Centre State Resource
country's
net
external these loans by itself borrowing
Transfer 1951-84 An Appraisal, " Economic and Political Weekly,
indebtedeness, thus pushing from the Reserve Bank . Thus , in
February 16, 1985
the
country
relentlessly effect, deficit financing by the
I towards the dreaded debt trap.
Centre was substituted for that

by the States.
The States' unauthorized
overdrafts were no more than a
temporary
expedient
and
eventually the entire rema~ n i ng
gap
in
States'
financial
resources had to be financed by
borrowing from the Centre.
Now that with effect from
October 1985 the States'
unauthorized overdrafts (for
. loAger than 7 continuous
working days) have been
effectively
forb idden,
the
States' entirely depend on the
Centre for financing their
capital expenditure in excess of
the small fraction financed from
their own resources . The states'
dependence on the Centre for
financing
their
capital
expenditure
is,
indeed ,
overwhelming .
This dependence is actually
even more onerous than that
suggested by the above data on
proportion
of capital
the
expenditure financed from the
States' own capital receipts .
This is because the capital
receipts traditionally classified
as the States' own in fact are not
quite so . For instance , States ',
market borrowing are a major,
in recent years the largest, item
included in these receipts.
While clause (I) of Article 293
of
the
Constitution
does
enpower the States to borrow
within the country on the
security of their respective
Consolidated Fund, clause (3)
of the same Article lays down
that a State may not without the
consent of the Government of
India raise any loan If any
previous loan to it granted or
guaranteed by the Central
Government
was
stili
outstanding. Since all States
are now heavily Indebted to the
Centre, the effect of Article
293(3) Is that the approval of
Government of India Is In
practice necessary for all
borrowing
by
the
State
Governments.
Clearly, the States' market
borrowings, indeed all thier
receipts under internal debt, are
strictly not their own capital
rece ipts. That is why individual
states' market borrowings bear
little relationship to their creditworthiness . In the Seventh Five
Year
Plan
the
marketContiuned on page 13
5 July-19 July 1987 3

THE

FORUM

View point

------------------------------------------------------GAZEnC------------------------------------------------------

Restructuring of Punjab
Economy II
Problem of Industrialization

B.M. Bhatia

In an attempt to start a dialogue to build a


consensus on the policy initiatives and directions
needed to root out the socio-economic causes of
the present crisisin Punjab Dr. B.M. Bhatia
suggested for the diversification of agriculture in
his article in the last issue. In this second and
concluding part he suggests the importance of
industrialization and type and nature of
industrialzation that is possible in the State.

Non-conventional Induatrlea
here are, however, some

n~n-conv~ntion~1

ind~s

going to constitute one of the


other agricultural refuse is
biggest constraints . The State
ahuther industry with bright
has made considerable strides
prospects in the State. In
in the development of power
practically all parts of the state,
sector.
The
per
capita
suitable agricultural wastes and
consumption at 354 Kwh in
bag asses of one type or the
1983-84 was the highest of al l
other are available in plenty.
the states in the country , the
Five to six villages could be
national average being 154 Kwh
grouped together for the
and
that
of
Gujarat,
purpose of locating a common
Maharashtra and Haryana , the
cellulose digester plant at a
three other top consumers in
central place for them for
the country, respectively being
utlization of these in the
274,267 and 245 Kwh .
production of cellulose which is
an important raw material for
paper and
board,
rayon ,
All the 12126 villagea of the
explosives and other industries.
State had been electrified by
If small scale cellulose
1984-85 aa agalnat 3695 In
industry were organized on a 1965-66. The
number of
wide scale and sufficient
energanlzed pumpaets In 1984supplies
of
the
material
85 atood at 406000 as agalsnt
ensured , it could give rise to
25000 In 1965-66. This Is a
factory prod uction of paper and
highly Impreaalve record. But
strawboard , rayon, explosives
two facta have to be placed
etc . This at first sight modest
agalnat It. Firat, the State has
looking proposal of setting up a . already
exhauated
Ita
chain of cellulose plants in the
hydelpower
potential,
and
rural areas all over Punjab has, becauae
of
prohibitive
thus , far reaching implications
transport coat of coal from the
for industrial development of
coal flelda In Bihar and Weat
the State .
Bengal, availability to It of
building
Manufacture
of
thermal power In any large
blocks
for
prefabricated
meaaure la almply not poaaible.
building ",ate rial is yet another
Second, at the preaent level of
industry offering scope for
supply, the State faces a deficit
conversion
~f
agricultural
of 19.2 percent (in 1984-85)
wastes and refuse into a
which la next only to Blt:ar 39.4
valuable industrial product.
percent and Haryana 28.9
Cellulose
produced
by
percent In the country.
diagester plants together with
Some
cushion
for
clay, straw and other material
augmenting the supply is
locally available could provide a
available in the form of
sound base for development of
improvement of operational
prefab
building
material
efficiency of the power system .
industry.
At present the efficiency (as
Two other industries whose
measured in terms of power
possibilities
need
to
be
generation during a year per
explored are production of
KW of capacity) at 3694 KW
starch
and
vodka
from
which is below the none too
potatoes. There is extensive
satisfactory national average of
cultivation of potatoes in the
3739 KW. Some relief can be
Doab area. Feasibility studies
expected from an improvement
for starting these industries in
in the operational efficiency of
this area should be undertaken
the plants and by avoiding the
and if .either or both are found to
waste that is gOing on at present
be a viable proposition, steps
in the use of energy in the State:
should be taken to establish
But that at oest can reduce the
them there .
Energy
existing deficit in electriCity
n any massive drive for
supply. It cannot make any
industrial development in
material difference to the
Punjab, power supply is
power-supply
position
for

tnes available In which


Punjab has a distinct advantage
over other States. These
utside the sphere of area for purposes of grant of include ricebran oil, cellulose,
agro-based and food- f iscal and financial incentives to and prefab building material.
processing
industries
industrialist to locate their new There is an enormous quantity
the scope for industrialization
industrial plants there, one of rice husk available in Punjab
in the State is rather limited.
must have serious reservations which , at present, is practically
This is because of the kind of
on the usefulness of this policy going to waste. Development 6f
resource endowment that the
too for promoting industrial rice ' bran oil and cellulose
State has. There are no mineral
gorwth in the State. Tax industries could not only save
resources worth the name
exemption of profits for 5 years' this baluable resource from
available in the State. Because
and availability of concessional going to waste but also provide
of the remoteness of the state
finance from the public sector new avenues of employment
from the centres producing
financial institutions cannot and income to the local people.
There is a considerable
important raw materials like
offset
the
permanent
coal, iron and steel, cement etc.
disadvantage of location of demand for rice bran oil in the
industrial units far away from country but its annua l output is
and from the port towns,
development of large scale the supply base of raw relatively small being no more
industry in it has been severely materials. One cannot expect than around 70,000 tonnes.
much from this concession This
constrained
in
the
past.
rather
insignificant
in
the
matter of quantity of output is due to
Considering the fact that either
haulage of bulky materials over promoting industrial growth of technological
reasons .
the State. The sights on Technology for this industry is
long distances has become so
industrialization of Punjab have yet in its infancy. A serious
costly, much hope in this ~egard
necessarily, therefore, to be set technological problem is that
cannot be entertained for future
rather low.
either.
the extracted oil gets rancid in a
In view of this, special
t is this realization that shor.t time after extraction. This
treatment of the state in the
appears to have been at the renders it unfit for human
matter by the Centre has been
back of the Industrial Policy consumption . If a solution to
suggested in some quarters.
of
Punjab this technological problem
Two principal proposals have Statement
Government
dated
10
March were found and appropriate
been made in this connection.
1978.
According
to
that technology for stabilization of
The first is that a scheme of
freight equalization whereby statement, the major thrust in the extracted oil in the original
cheaper freight rates are the industrial field was to be form discovered, way would be
paved for development of a
offered by the railways for along the foliowin!!J lines:
highly promising industry in
transport of raw materials for
(i) building a network of rural
Punjab which has become in
industry so that the location village and small industries, so
recent years a leading rice
disadvantage of the State in as to cover all the villages over
producing state in the country
industrialization is neutralized. the next five years;
The sCQnd proposal is that the
and has, therefore, plentiful
(ii) achieving a sustained
whole 6f Punjab or at least its
supply of raw mateiral for this
growth
of
small
scale
industries
border
districts
adjoining
industry.
Pakistan
be
declared (in the towns) with special
Cellulose
manufacturing
emphasis
.on
tiny
units
so
as
to
Industrially Backward Area to
from rice husk, sugarcane,
allow them to enjoy the fiscal create maximum employment
bagasses, " sarkanda" grass and
and financial benefits given opportunities; and
(iii) promoting growth of
under the Industry-Backward
medium and large scale agroDistrict Scheme.
Freight Equalization Scheme based industries e.g. food
cotton
textile,
in respect of steel has already processing,
woolens
etc . .
been in operation in Punjab for sugar,
Table
The Importance of the policy
some time. It might have helped
Punjab; Eatlmated Work Force In March 1971, 1973 and 1978 In Population 5 Years and More by
Sex and Residence
individual
small
scale a.. tement Ilea not ao much In
agricultural implements and the reaulta achieved-It haa
(Thousand persons)
machin~
tools
producing remained
unimplemented
Work Force
Labour Force
Chronic Unem~lo~ment
industrial units in raising their properly-but In the pragmatlam
1978
1971
1973
profitability but there is not It ahowa on the poaalbllltiea and
1971
1973
1978
1971
1973
1978
much evidence to show that it Icope of Induatrlallzatlon In the
4
7
9
1
2
3
5
6
8
significant Stete. The atatement deflnea
has
made
a
3,525
3,125
3,125
3,180
3,587
53
62
3,072
1.
Rural
55
contribution to growth of clearly
the
IImlta
of
3,267
2,946
47
49
2,847
2,897
2,894
3,322
55
1. Male
industrial production or setting Induatrlallzetlon and the nature
258
234
235
265
6
7
225
228
6
2. Female
up of any new steel-based of Induatrlea that can be
1,046
1,095
931
975
44
913
956
43
49
2. Urban
industry in the State.
aucce..fully a.. rted In Punjab.
884
851
867
893
32
33
37
835
956
1. Male
It
neatly
auma
up
the
Accordingly a thinking is now
91
102
11
11
12
78
80
90
2. Female
89
going on at the Centre that the expectatlona that may be
4,571
4,155
4,682
111
3,985
4,056
4,681
96
99
3. Total
reallatlcally entertained on
3,682
scheme has failed to serve its
4,315
3,748
4.223
3,761
3,830
79
82
92
1. Male
Induatrlallzetlon front In any
17
348
purpose and, therefore, it
325
367
17
19
303
308
320
2. Female
should be discontinued. As for programme of reatructurlng
Sources: (1 ) for 1973: "Employmgnt-Unemployment Situation at a Glance ", op. cit.
declaring the whole or parts of and dlveralflcatlon of Punjab
(2) For 1971-1978: "Employment and Manpower, 1978", op. cit.
Punjab as industry-backward
economy.

4 5 July-19 July 1987

FORUM .....

----------------------------------------------------~GAZEnC------,

----------------~---------------------------

exploited in India for this


starting new industries . That
purpose is sweet sorghum. It
position
is
none
too
encouraging .
has been suggested that the
TM State can explore the
present area of 17.6 million
possibil ities of getting some
hectares under cultivation of
power from the neighbouring sorghum which gives a crop of
states of Himachal Pardesh and
8.52 million tonnes of.grain can
J & K. Thein Dam project in the
easily yield 17.6 million tonnes
former can make available a
of grain if cultivated with new
part of the generated power on
high yielding sweet sorghum
permanent basis but financial
varieties. The same area can
co ns.traints are understood to
also produce about 35 billion
be standing in the way of rapid
litres of alcohol equivalent to 18
progress towards completionof
million tonne s of kerosene .
the Dam project .
Country's total demand for
Now that the Centre has
kerosine by 2000 AD has been
accepted
the
principle of
projected at 18 million tonnes.
allowing power plants even in
Thus from 17.6 million he'Ctares
the private sector , Punjab could
(an
areas
already
under
explore the possibilities of
sorghum crop) we can get twice
mobilizing
funds
from
the present yield of grain and at
remittances from Non resident
the same tim e enough alcohol
Punjabis from abroad for the
to completely replace prOjected
purpose of financing jointly
2000 AD kerosine requirements
with H.P. government, the
(vide D r A K Aajvansh i, " Solarly
construction
of
the Dam .
Distilled Ethanol from sweet
H imachal is reported to be
Sorghum as cooking fuer:') .
will ing for such collaboration
The technology for this has
with Punjab . Possibilities also
already been developed and is
exist of similar collaboration
now in experiemental stages.
with J .K. where there is a
Could Punjab which led the way well as of the country as whole.
consideration
potential
in the country to the green
available for construction of
revolution, not do the same in Industrial Estates: Golndwal
minor and medium hydel power
the matter of development of
Experience
plants . The expert op inion here
non-conventional sources of
ndustrial estate concept has
also, however, is that the
energy, thereby
not only
been a favourite as an
additional supplies obtained
solving its own energy , and
instrument
of
fostering
through this source could take
therefore , economic growth industrial growth with the State
care of the existing power
problems but also showing the governments and the Centre .
backlog
but
would
be
wa y to the rest of the country in An industrial estate which is an
insufficient to meet future
th is matter also? Punjab with
industrial complex promoted
growth of demand especially if
the genius and enterprize of its by the government at a selected
any
large
programme
of
fa rmers can do it. Aobert Frost site by offering land, workshop
industrialization were to be
wrote:
sheds, infrastructural faci lit ies
undertaken .
and finance for setting up
Two road d iverged in a
industries at the site, to private
wood and I,
Nonconventional sources
entrepreneurs, is intended to
I took the one less
he State, however, is
serve as a nucleus for indust rial
travelled by
ideally
situated
with
growth
of
the conc erned
And that has made all
regard to development
territory.
difference
".
so urces of energy. The se, if
fully
developed ,
could
By choosing to go by the road
This was the intention wit h
completel y
transform
the
of
exploring
and
using
which the Goindwal Industrial
power situation there. The
unconventional
sources
of
Estate was set up in Punjab in
pote nt ia l of these sources is so
November 1980. Because of
energy, Punjab can make all the
great that practically the wh ole
factors
includ ing
difference to the solution of various
of conve ntional -s ou rce po wer
beyond
the
energy problem of its own as c ircum stan ce s
no w co nsumed in the rural
areas and agriculture could be
At its roots, therefore, the Punjab economic
released for use in feedi ng the
roblem
is that of lack of opportunities for
P
power-s tarved
existing
industrial units and in setting up
investment
of
available
funds
and
new ones .
em ployment
for
surplus
manpower.
If the proposal f or setti ng up a
Agriculture cannot absorb the capital and
modern tiary industry by import
of high milk y iel ding Holsteinlabour surpluses that have emerged in the
Freiesen cows and setting up of
state tellingly. New avenues of investment
semen Bank s as a part of
and employment outside the agricultural
programme improving the loal
sector have, therefore, to be found.
breed
of
animals
as L-.........._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
recommended by the Johl
Table
Committee , is accepted, there
Number of Looms and Spindles In Cotton Textile
will be plenty of dung available
Industry and Share of Cotton Production
in the areas where dairies are
located . This should serve as a
Mills Spindles'Powerloom 2 Percentage
State
base for starting a chain of
('000 nos ) ('000 nos) ('000 nos)
share of
gobar gas plant allover the
cotton
State . At other places bioass
production
plants using rice husk and
(78-79)
bagasses can be started on a
4874
772.7
1245
17.44
wide scale . A network of gobar Maharashtra
(23.5)
(35 .8)
(37.4)
gas and biomass plants spread
3957
Gu jarat
631 .6
26.82
5591
all
over
its
whole
rural
(19.1 )
(30 .6)
(17 .0)
landscape could revolutionize
132.6
1350
170
the power supply scene of the Uttar Pradesh
(6.5)
(6.4)
(4 .9)
State by opening up an
742
128.9
1107
4.12
altogether new avenue of that Madhya Pradesh
(3.2)
(6.2)
(3.4)
supply .
Tamil Nadu
93 .5
7.43
5080
328
(4 .5)
(24.6)
(9.4)
Ethyl Alcohl)1
90 .7
1015
146
nother non-conventional West Bengal
(4.4) I
(4 .9)
(4 .2)
source of energy that can
62 .9
816
1107
239
be tried in Punjab is the Karnataka
(3.0)
(3 .9)
(6 .9)
production of Ethanol or Ethyl
12.4
262
16.89
196
alcohol which has been used as Punjab
(0.6)
(1 .3)
(5 .6)
motor fuel all over the world but
20682
2064 .7
8477
has not been used as co ok ing Total (All India)
(100)
(100)
(100)
fuel so far. Ethnol traditionally
has been produced in India and Note: 1. As on January 1, 1980.
2. As on December 31, 1980.
elsewhere from
sugarcane ,
molasses, grain etc . A valuable Sources: CMIE, Basic Statistics Tables 9,13 and 10.1 and
Statistical Abstract of Punjab-1979
source that has yet not been

The Youthfull energies and no letout

control
of
the
State
government, the project has not
made much of a headway. The
foundati on
stone
of
tr.e
complex was laid on 14
November 1980. Within a year
after that , the government
constituted
the
Goindwal
I ndustrial
and
Investment
Corporation (GIICO). The idea
was to give " one-window
service" to entrepreneurs by
allotting plots and arranging
finances.
It was hoped that the Estate
would develop into a township
of
5
lakh
people .
The
Government undertook to build
housing colonies, and provide
electricity,
water
supply
sewerage, hospitals, markets ,
and schools for that popl,Jlation.
The Punjab State Industrial
Development Co rporation was
assigned the task of prov iding
As. 100 crores investments in
the Estate. These expectations
have been largely belied . The
project has remained jinxed
from the very start because of
the insufficient support from
the concerned
government
agencies which again seems to
be due not so much to Jack of
will as that of ability on the part
of the Government to do all that
was
promised
to
the:
entrepreneurs
and
investors
at
the start.
These agencies neither had
the
necessary
financial
resources at their command to
fulfil their obligations nor there
were congenial politica! ar:~
administrative environment to
implement the programme of
development of tJ:le estate. The
eagerness
of
Punjab
entrepreneurs to seize any
opportunity offered to them to
enter the industrial field may be
seen from the faCt that 4000
applicants came forward to buy
plots of land in the estate and
depOSited
As.45
lakhs as
earnest money towards the
purchase price of the plots . But
so far only half a dozen
industrial units have come on
the stream . Even atrotment of all
plots remains to be completed . .
Meanwhile the owners whose
lands were acquired have not
been paid their dues.

Ancillary Units
mong the units that have
come up are Central
Public Sector Undertaking, BHEL's industrial valve
plant set up at a cost of As. 2.74

crores, a private entrepreneur's


export
oriented
shoe
manufacturing
unit
which
provides daily employment to
200 girls from neighbourhood ,
a private sec tor steel castings
unit costing As. 2 crores which
provides castings fo r text ile and
sugar machinery manufacturing
plants , and a spinning mill with
25000 sp indles.
Go indwal is situated only 24
kilometre
away
from
Hussainpura
(Kapurthala)
where the Aailways integ rated
coach factory is being built. As
such it is an ideal place to set up
ancillaries manufacturing units
to supply the needs of the
coach factory. It has the
promi se of develop ing into a
vibrant and hum ing ce ntre of
industri al activity. What is
holding up its progress is not
the
cussedness
of
the
Government or the lack of
investible funds in the State.
The main obstacle is the
poli ti cal
atmosphere
and
insecurity of life and property
p revaili ng there.
Golndwal
experience
highlights the basic economic
problem In Punjab today which
Is the rack of sufficient
opportunities In the State for
employment of surplus capital,
entrepreneurial energies and
educated and skilled labour
force.
The
Green
revolution
brought with it to the Punjab
farmer a degree of prosperity
and cash flow undreamt of
before. A part of the new
income flow, of course , went
into conspicuous consumption
and raiSing material well-being
of farming householdS. But a
large part of its was used
productively in the agricultural
sector itself for purchase of
farm machinery , construction
of tube wells and provision of
pumpsets
for
irrigational
purposes,
and
undertaking
other
land
improvement
measures.

Inveltment Opportunities
An
index
of
hectic
investment
activi ty
in
agriculture during the first
twelve years following the start
of the green revolution is the
progress in installation of
electrical and diesel pumpsets
by the farm~r for irrigational purposes . The number . of
electrical pumpsets in the State
Continued on page 14

5 July-19 July 1987 5

________________~F~q!yM
THE

Deforestation in
South Rajasthan
Bharat Dogra
Most of the tribals of
Rajasthan are Bhil tribals and
they are heavily concentrated in
Banswara
and
Dungarpur
districts and parts of Udaipur
and
Chittorgarh
districts.
Nearly 6 lakh tribals live in
Banswara, 4 lakh in Dungarpur,
2 lakhs in Chittorgarh and 8
lakhs in Udaipur. In Banswara
the percentage of tribals in the
total population is 72 and in
Dungarpur they constitute 64
per cent of the total population .
in Udaipur district as a whole
their percentage is only 34 but
in Kotra tehsil ofthisitisashigh
as 87 and in Kherwara it is 73.
So in speaking of Rajasthan's
tribal belt broadly we include
Banswara-and
Dungarpur
districts and some parts of
Udaipur
and
Chittorgarh
districts , although pockets of
tribal population certainly exist
in some other districts of
Rajasthan, specially Kota and
Sirohi.
Social Erosion
The tribals constitute the
majority of the population in
this region . The overwhelming
factor in their lives in recent
years has been the destruction
of forests . Several village elders
recall how they have seen the
green hills around their villages
turning into barren, eroded
land . A study of Kotra block
made by the Tribal Research
"Id Training Institute , Udaipur

says:
"Till 30 years back the entire
topography of ' Kotra was
surrounded by thick forests .
Tribal population living there
were wholly dependent upon
the forests, as their life-cycle
round the year was based on
the forest wealth . However, the
process of deforestation started
at such a fast rate , that today the
concept of thick forests has
become a matter of history
only . This situation has created
an imbalance in the economic
life of tribals who now find
limited employment opportunities in forests."
Thus it is important to keep in
mind when studying life in tribal
villages today is that what we
see is a life-style with its base
gone, and adjustments made in
the form of migration and reliefworks to somehow survive.
Deforestation denied tribals
many of their basic needs of life
including food and it also
diminished to a sUbstantial
extent the productivity of their
agriculture
and
animal
productivity by accelerating
soilerosion and reducing the
availability of fOdder and
organic fertilisers. I n brief,
deforestation
harmed
the
people directly as well as by
breaking the harmony of a
mixed
forestry-agricultureanimal
husbandry
system .

The
Centre
for
Social
Research , New De .hi, has
undertaken to do a study on
"The Problems and Needs of
Adolescent Girls in Rural Areas :
Need
for
Programme
Intervention ".
It is important to understand
that the treatment of an
adolescent
girl is largely
conditioned by our society's
expectations of the woman she
will eventually grow into. As a
girl child she shares the adult
work
environment.
She
observes and participates in it.
Yet, this does not mean that she
is considered an adult.

Out of the 750 million people


in India today, 362 million are
females and 143 of these or
almost 40 per cent are below the
age of 15 years. Discrimination,
here, begins at birth. Gender
based differences In Infant and
child mortality rates create a
critical situation. This neglect is
evident regarding access to
health services too. Despite the
evidence of higher morbidity
among
female
children,
attendance records at OPDs
and
clinics
reveal
a
preponderence of males.
Similarly female literacy rates
for the country as a whole

From food to fertilizers the


villages become dependent on
the market for everything .

In some parts of the


country if can be clearly
seen that the working and
living condition is steadily
deteriorating instead of
improving .
Within
the
three-four decade long
memory of village elders
life in their villages has
become much poorer. One
such area is the tribal belt
of South Rajasthan . This is
a 2-part article on thE)
changing life of the weaker
sections-specially
the
tribals-of this region .

Children of Forests
Just as the impact of
deforestation resulted in a
vicious cycle I1Ke sItuation with
one bad effect leading to
another, similarly the process '
were frequent droughts, their
of deforestation followed a
changed and as they saw others
dependence on this source of
pattern of one cause leading to
rapidly destroying the forests
earnings also increased greatly .
another. In the first stage forest
for their profits, they saw
And as the pressure for food rights of the villagers were
nothing wrong in stealing some
curtailed
and
large-scle
wood from the forest to sell in . scarcity grew and some of th e
existing good land passed into
commercial exploitation was
the market.
the hands of outsiders due to a
started . After some resistance
Moreover
as
economic
number of reasons the pressure
the villagers Were forced to
pressures on them become
increased on tribals to bring
accept this reality but their
acute, as productivity of their
attitude
towards
forests
a.9.riculture decl ined and there
Continued on pag e 7

Adolescent Girls in
Rural areas

Problems and NeedsAnju Dubey

provide
the
context
of
highlighting differential rates in
the Educational development of
men and women . Although
literacy among females has
risen from 0.69 percent in 1901
to 24.88 in 1981, this increase is
far behind its counterpart for
men, where the corresponding
figures are 9.83 to 46.47
percent.
Girls Lag Behind
The
Indian
Constitution
requires that universal primary
education be provided for all
children in the age-group 6-14
years. A look at the enrolment
figures, drop out rates and
secondary school achievement
shows that this goal still
remains a distant dream .
Under the Sixth Plan Review,
nearly 73 per cent of the total
non-enrolled children in the 611 years age group are girls. In
the age group 11-14 years, only
38 per cent of the girls have
been enrolled
for
formal
education. According to the
1975 report on Educational
Development by the Committee
on the Status of Women in
India, In classes I to V one girl
out of three was out of school
and of every 100 girls enrolled
only 30 reach class V. In classes
V to VIII only one girl oulof five
was at school. In the age group

5 JuIy-1I July 1987

14 to 17 years , only 12 per cent


were enrolled.
The drop out and repeater
rate is much higher for girls
(74%) than for boys (62.4%) .
Similarly at the secondary level,
sustained enrolment for girls is
13 per cent, against 35 per cent
for boys.
While roughly one third of
girls below 15 years are still .in
the pre-school years and so are
within the ambit of prog rammes
aimed at very young children,
the other two thirds, girls
between say 6 to 14 years, are
no ones special concern . They
must wait until after the age of 15
to join another target group
" women in their productive
years".
.
Yet these are the years of
change-of development at the
biological , psychological and
social levels. This is the period
when girls start menstruating ,
get married and some of them
have their first child . These are
years of maturation of new
social
responsibilities
and
roles. It is in these years of
passage from childhood to
womanhood that a woman
perhaps needs utmost attention
to be healthy and productive in
later life .
An Ignorant Lot
The adolescent girls in rural

areas are neither exposed to the


knowledge
about
health ,
hygiene and nutritior nor are
they aware of new science and
technology and its applicability
in their lives. They are burdened
with the responsibilities of
caring for the siblings and
'helping '
their mothers at
home . Their tasks generally
include sweeping , washing ,
cleanihg
utensils, cooking ,
fetching water and collecting
fire wood, etc . To these are
added others like deweeding
fields , husking grains, etc ,
depending
upon
the
agricultural activity during the
season . This leaves them with
hardly any time and energy to
learn about their sociMy and
environment.
Their roles are almost clearly
demarcated between the prepuberty
and
post-puberty
stages. An ignorant lot , they are
pushed into marriage leading to
early motherhood roles. Since
these girls are not aware of birth
control, child care and control
over their bod ies, they fail to get
healthy children . Thus we have
a high rate of infant mortality on
the one hand and a growing rate
of population on the other.
Careful planning for their
development thus becomes
Contiuned on page 7

1liE

________________~F~O~-M- ----------------Sadhu Mohan's Fast


A Call for Justice to the Jodhpur
Detenues
hree years passed since
the Jodhpur detenues
have been languishing
behind the bars without any
trial. Picked up from the Golden
Temple Complex during the
enactment
of
Operation
Bluestar during first week of
June , 1984, 300 men , women
and children have been facing
charges of "waging war against
the state ". Detenues, including
scores of sewadars of the
Shiromani
Gurdwara
Parbandhak
Committee
(SGPC) and innocent pilgrims
were to be tried by a Special
Court within a period of six to
tweleve months. But this did not
happen . It has confirmed the
belief of the countrymen that
the majority of them are
innocent and are being kept
under detention illegally and for
narrow political interests of
rulers at Delhi.
For last two year., the release
of the Jodhpur detenue. ha.
been the mal... I ue for the
settlement
of the
Punjab
problem. The Centre made a
number of commlttment. In thl.
regard and the Oppo.ltlon
equivocally .upported their
release. A number of prominent
personalities have pleaded to
the Power. that be that Illegal,
unlawful
and
revengeful
detention of the Innocent., for
ulterior
purpo.es,
would
enhance the human tragedy of
bleeding Punjab.

Sadhu Mohan
t
this
juncture,
a
wandering renuciate from
Kerala, Sadhu Mohan

undrwent a fast of self-suffering


for the cause of the Punjab,
particularly, those confined
wrongfuly in Jodhpur. He sat on
fast on June 20 at Rajghat to stir
the
Conscience
of
the
Countrymen for the release of
the detenues, hungering for
human freedom . His symbolic
fast was a challenge to the
country's
campassion
and
capacity to overpower 'injustice
with justice, pasion with reason
and hatred with love". Sadhu
Mohan, a Gandhian, had to shift
his venue of fast to the Gandhi
Peace Foundation on the
insistance of the Delhi police
that his presence at Rajghat was
a security risk to Prime Minister
Rajiv Gandhi, who was coming
to lay wreath, at Sanjay's
Samadhi next morning .
Former Supreme Court judge
and oppoo.ltlon'. presidential
candidate Ju.tlce V.R. KrI.hna
Iyer, Janta Party leader George
Fernandes, (Chief Mln.ter of
Karnatka Ram Krl.han Hegde
former Punjab chief mlnl.ter
Surjlt Singh Barnala along with
hi. party .upporter. and score
of
other Political leader.
Including BJP leader Mr. Yagya
Dutt Sharma, al.o joined the
fast.
The Sikh Forum al.o joined
the fait. It provided medical and
other a lstance to Sadhu
Mohan during hi. fast.
The United Akall Dalleader.,
Bhal Shamlnder Singh M.P. and
Mr. Mewa Singh Gill M.P.
vl.lted the Sadhu. Mr. Farooq
Abdullah, chief mlnl.ter Jammu
and Ka.hmlr al.o paid a vl.1I to

Deforestation
Contiuned from page 6

some
forest
land
under
cultivation . Thus from being the
ch ildren of forests who satisfied
so many of their needs from
forests they were turned into
thieves and encroachers of
forests in the language of the
law.
According
to
a
senior
researcher N.N. Vyas , of Tribal
Research Training Institute,
Udaipur " For just a petty
amount , forest cropes were
given on short and long leases
to forest contractors until 1969
who worked on with the help of
tribal labourer on low wages.
The agency of contractors and
intermediaries has not been
completely eliminated even
now" . He then describes the
mode
of
operating
of
middlemen under the new
system . The intermediaries
purchase wood from private
'beers' on throwaway prices
from tribals and sellon sizeable
profits .
According
to
Rajasthan
Tenancy Act, the tehsildars are
empowered
to
issue
'No
Objection Certificate ' to owners
of private 'beers' for felling and
removing trees in the beer area.
In connivance with tehsildar
(for issuing 'No Objection
Certificate' for felling and
removing valuable sal and
Sag wan trees). tribals are

cheated by intermediaries and


contractors for the price of
trees
Corruption
Giving specific instances
Vyas alleges that the owners of
the saw mills around tribal
villagers of Dhariawad in
Udaipur district purchase teak
wood from tribals at 1/10 of the
market value and sell the same
at very high rates. According to
one estimate, into the year
1978, in Dhariawas tehsil of
Udaipur District alone, 82 such
'No Objection Certificates were
issued for cutting 1,61,000
trees .
Thus while enriching a few
people in the legal and illegal
timber trade the future of the
tribals of this area and the
ecology of this area-so closely
tied up with each other-were
sacrificed . The system which
was behind this destruction is
still active today, as seen in the
new form taken by illegal felling
of trees. Recently the pressures
on tribals to make a living off
illegal work in forests has
increased
greatly
due
to
drought and crop-failure for
nearly 3 continuous year. So
the destruction of even the
remaining forest-cover goes on
unh indered.
Now that the impact of this
destruction has become all too

Sadhu Mohan and extended hi.


.upport to hi. cause
As Sadhu Mohan's health was
fast failing. Justi.ce Iyer made a
representation to the Prime
Minister seeking his immediate
attention . He beseeched the
Prime minister to make a
'Justice Gesture' of releasing
those at least known to be
guiltless but are incarcerated as
an over-reactive aftermath of
Operation Bluestar.

President's Appeal
Ultimately, a pressure was
exerted on the Government
from various corners. This
made President Zail Singh to
issue an appeal to Sadhu
Mohan to break his fast and
promise that "the government is
conSidering the cases of the
Jodhpur
detenues".
The
President also expressed hope
that the Government would
expedite these cases".
While presenting a glas. 01
juice to Sadhu Mohan, marking
the end of the fa.t on 26 June,
Justice Iyer said .. Not the
punitive prl.on but the forgiving
heart alone heal . The complex
and e.calatlng Is.ue. of the
Punjab haemorrage cannot be
.olved by a magic wand. We
mu.t begin on the right humane
note at lea.t at the belated hour
by giving a ju.tlce touch to the
Jodhpur detenue....
While breaking his five-daylong fast , Sadhu Mohan said
" My humble endevour is to
draw the attention of the nation
and the government to the
illegal detention of the Jodhpur

evident, efforts are being made


to check this ruin in the form of
afforestation and soil-water
conservation works; working
through by and large the same
system which destroyed the
forests in the first place .
Is it any wonder that there is
large-scale corruption in these

Sadhu 'Mohan with S. Surjit Singh Barnala, For a Cause


detenues. I will continue to
strive to convince the nation
that without assuaging tne
psychological factor involved in
the Punjab issue if we rush into
some political activities they
either will not take off or end in
fiasco". This is yet to be seen
that whether or not the 'historic
mission of love" of Sadhu
Mohan enters the Conscience
of
the
Country's
Chief
Executive.
But
he
has
succeeded to an extent in
highlighting the injustice being
done to the innocent Jodhpur

detenues, No doubt, they


represent the human tragedy,
reminiscent of one of medieval
period, when a king would put
his victims in the cells and
forget for years together, but
they are bitter and grim
reminder of a pOlitical blunder
'Operation Bluestar'.

works, the results are low and . Indian rural context in general ,
the involvement of the people and problems and needs of
minimal?
True
there
are adolescent girls in particular.
exceptions in the form of
The
study
would
be
dedicated
work
by some conducted in 12 villages: 6
officials and social workers , but villages
of
Bharatpur
these do not change the overall
(Rajasthan)
4 villages
of
Jaunpur (Uttar Pradesh) and 2
sad
reality
of continuing
villages of the Union Territory
ecological ruin .
of Delhi. The sample will
(N .F.S. INDIA)
consist of 400 adolescent girls
(10-16 years) and their parents~
the ratio between the unit of
study and parents being 1:1.
Keeping in view the set
objectives, required data would
be collected through : (a) a
schedule
and
improving the adverse sex ratio. suitable
(b) unstructured
interviews
Rural Context
The proposed study thus and group discussions. This
would provide vaiuable feed
becomes not merely relevant
back and confirmation of the
but necessary. It would be
research
findings and an
. situated in the context of rural
sociology. As the search for a opportunity to the adolescent
girls to participate in the
paradigm that describes special
formulation
of
the
features
of
rural
life-the
recommendations for policies
patterns
of
change
and
and
programmes.
Our
development continues, the
approach would be essentially
study will bebased on detailed
socio-psychological
by
research analysis making use of
empirical data to arrive at an situating the unit of study in her
understanding
of
the .societal context.
phenomenon of adolescence in

Girls Adolescent
Continued from page 6

There are many schemes,


both at the 'central and state
level, which are projected
towards the upliftment of
women in general but not
adolescent girls in particular.
Thus, for instance under IRDP,
both Training of Rural Youth for
Self Employment (TRYSEM)
and Development of Women
and Children in Rural Areas
(DWCRA) focus Primarily on
the age group 18-35 years and
lay emphasis on incomegenerating activities.
The Seventh Plan under its
objectives and strategies does
talk
about
disseminating
knowlege about the nutritional
status of girls and its impact on
the health and weight of the
babies born . It aims at creating
public opinion against social
evils like child marriage, dowry,
illiteracy and atrocities on
women . It also aims at making
sustained efforts for increasing
the age at marriage of girls for

Ir-----------------------------,
For Those who Care
ADHIKAR

RAKSHA

Quarterly Bullet.in of the Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights


C/O Super Book House Sind Chamoer Col aba, Bombay-5
Annual Subscription Rs. 10.00; M. O. Only
.
.L-_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _-.J

5 July-19 July 1987 7

lliE

FORUM

Off hand

----------------------------------------------------G~---------------------------------------------------THE

FORUM
GAZETIE

Minority Rights
.Civil Liberties
Equality for Women
Democratic Values
Environmental Prot&ction

THE LIMITS OF REPRESSION


Some recent developments points to a somewhat grim future for
Punjab in tl:le years to come.
The Prime Minister has taken the position that the Governor's
rule in Punjab would continue as long as the terrorist problem is
not solved. This view might have been expressed in the course of
an election campaign and to that extent need not be taken at its
face value. At the same time, it cannot be dismissed out of hand
either. The least that can be said about it is that it was a view which
was held when the election was in progress in Haryana. If the
outcome of that election dictates another amended version of it,
:hat is another matter.
Two other factors are the combination of the 'saviour' of West
Bengal and the 'victor' of Bombay and Ahmedabad . I n the situation
that now prevails in Punjab, the Governor has no Advisers and is
acting entirely on his own . Furthermore, the Director-General of
Police has no Home Secretary to report to nor any minister to
overrule him . In consequence, he is the only man to decide what
requires to be done or not done. Such concentration of power in
'the hands of one person can lead to a situation where its misuse
cannot be ruled out.
What is the track record of the Director-General of Police? He is a
capable professional who likes to keep a highly visible profile. This
is what most people would agree upon . But there is another aspect
of his performance which must not be overlooked . He is able to
freeform onry as long as he is around . The moment he leaves,
things return to normal. In other words, it is through his sheer
presence that he can keep things under control. But they get out of
control the moment his presence is withdrawn.
Why that should happen is not difficult to understand . No
individual, however capable and effective, can thwart social
processes at work . If for instance, the nexus between politics and
crime was close and intimate, as it was in Bombay, all thathecould
do was to keep the lid on there for a while , indeed as long as he was
there . In that respect also his success was only partial. In
Ahmedabad he did not stay there long enough to be able to make
and kind of impact other than temporary and transient. What
happens in Punjab remains to be seen but two things are clear.
One is his public posture that the police will succeed to the
extent that people will cooperate . Will they? In a sense it amounts
to bagging the question . The people will not cooperate for a
number of reasons, the most basic of them being the sense of
continued grievance that a large number of there have. Somebody
can turn around and say those are imaginary. To get into the
argument whether these are real or imaginary is beside the point.
The fact remains that there is a perception of being aggrieved and
this is what counts
Over the years, a number of factors have aggravated the
. situation . large scale smuggling has led to the arosion of state
authority. More often than not, the police and other authorities act
in collusion with smugglers. This in turn undermines the capability
of the government to act in a dispassionate manner. The nexus
between politics and crime is a very substantial factor which
cannot be ignored in any appraisal of the situation .
What has been happening during the last ten years has further
contributed to the erosion of the state administration and its
credibility as an instrument of purposeful action. Indiscriminate
arrests, killings and torture of a large number of innocent people
have alienated most of them from the administration. To ask for
their support or even in that situation is to ask for more than what is
humanly possible . The recent crop failure has made things future
difficult for the Punjab peasantery. Though the state has tried to
extend some kind of help, it has not succeeded beyond a point. It is
possible to enumerate several other causes also All of them pointto
one thing-the administration is alienated from the common
. people.
Th~ second factor is no less crucial. Even hundred percent
success in the field of administration will not solve the problem .
The problem will be solved only when there is a polical settlement.
One attempt made in July, 1985, has come unstuck. Meanwhile
there have been all kinds of developments including the recent rout
of the ruling party in Haryana. Perhaps a bilateral understanding
between Haryana and Punjab is what is required. But then the
question is of the ruling party would accept this kind of a bilateral
arrangement. It is so accustomed to fishing In troubled water and
its existence is so much dependent upon plaYing one state against
the other that it is difficult to conceive of an alternative scenario .
Be that as it may, what about the present? Ample evidence has
already come to light which indicates that the forces of law ~n~
order function in lawless way. If the present wave of repression
continues, hundreds and thousands of innocent people are bound
to suffer This is not to suggest that a certain number of those who
are committing crimes will not be also amongst them. But the rule
of law requ ires, and . this is somethln!J fundamental to the
Constitution of the country, that a distinction must be drawn
between the innocent and the guilty . To blur .the distinction
between the two is to create circumstances which can have long
range unsettling implication for the country. Furthermore, there
would be such a tremendous backlash of bitterness and hatred that
it would take years and years before the situation returns to normal.
To put it plainly , there are limits to repression. The question
which bothers one is if these limits are recognised and respected or
will they be violated with most people looking on as if it was none of
their concern. Those who think or function like this fail to see one
thing. What happens in Punjab will happen elsewhere toq, at some
stage or the other. For them to believe therefore that it does not
concern them is to think only of today and not of tomorrow.
.

5 July-19 July 1987

Policy Towards
Punjab
Amrlk Singh
What was the occasion for the
Prime Minister saying at an
election meeting in Faridabad
that the President's rule in
Punjab would not be lifted till
terrorism had been finally
tackl~d?

He was addressing a meeting


in Haryana and not in Punjab .
Secondly , it was an election
meeting
and
Punjab was
certainly not on the agenda. '
Thirdly , only a few weeks earlier
he had told a group of
sponsored Sikhs who had
called upon him that the
President's rule had bee ... an
unfortunate necessity and the
democratic process would be
restored in the near future . For
all these reasons he was not
expected to say anything on
Punjab, particularly at an
election meeting in Haryana.
And yet he chose to do so . In
doing
so he contradicted
himself. Not only that, he' went
much beyond his own selfimposed brief. To say that the
President's rule had to be
enforced because of certain
circumstances is one thing . But
to say that it would not be litted
till terrorism had been brought
under control is another thing .
There is a world of difference
between the two statements.
Once can legitimately ask if
his declaration in Faridabad
was an impromptu one or
represented a shift of policy. If it
was the laUer, the minimum that
should have been done was to
have taken the members of the
Political Affairs Committee of
the Cabinet irito confidence .
Was that done? One does not
know. At least the newspapers
did not report any such thing.
But then newspapers report
what they are fed with . Maybe
this decision was arrived at not
so long ago kept confidential.
In all likelihood no such
decision had been taken and It
was some kind of a off the cuff
announcement. Perhaps the
aptest comment came from a
cartoonist. He showed some
body asking the Prime Minister
how
he
explained
the
contradiction
between
his
earlier stand and his latest
stand.
His
answer
was
disarmingly simple. He replied
that were there to be an election
In Punjab, he would make an
equall) helpful statement.
All th is discussion about what
the Prime Minister said and
what he meant should not be
taken to mean that the situation
in Punjab before the President's
rule was imposed was all that
wonderful. Nor will anybody, one
hopes, have the braienness to
say that it has imporved since
then. If anything, it seems to
have got worse . Maybe this is
only passing phase time and
that it would improve a little
later. According to the DirectorGeneral cf Police, the terrorists
are wanting to put across the
message that they can hit back .
Such an assessment need not
be taken to be wildely off the
mark.
OBJECTIVE
The pOint at is~ue however is

what is the objective. Is it to


in this regard but then this is not
control the situation or to serve
the occasion to do so .
some other end for instance,
What about the role of the
the election in Haryana? If the
Akali party and S.S. Barnala
objective is to control the
himself. Should he not have
situation, neither the dismissal
resigned after January 26 ,
of the Barnala Miriistry nor the
1986? Did his continuance in
President's rule have acheved or
office help Punjab in any way?
can
achieve the
purpose : did the split in Akali party a few
intended.
This is not to
months later come about
condone the set-back to the
because of a genuine difference
democratic process not to ' of perception or because of
decry the efforts being made to
factionalism that has always
contain terrorism . There is a
characterised the Akali party?
good deal to be said for both the
Did the Centre have a role to
points of view but neither of
play
in
promoting
this
them, either in isolation or in
factionalism
and
thereby
conjunction, will achieve the
weaken the Barnala position to
objective.
such an extent that for several
The objective could have
months he became dependent
been achieved provided the
on the support of the ruling
approach adopted In July,1985,
party? There are several other
had been pursued to Its logical
questions like this that one can
end. The objective had been to
raise, Opinion in regard to them
work out a political settlement
would be divided but there is
with the AkaUs whose quest for
one thing from which there is no
power had been frustrated time
getting away and that is the
and again by all kinds of
division within the Akali party.
dubious means, Including State
terforlsm. The real meaning of
Ecllpse or liquidation
that Accord between Rajlv
There is hardly any political
Gandhi and Sant Longowal was
party which does not suffer
no more and no less than this
from factionalism . To that
that the ruling party, having
extent the Akalis can defend
pursued a particular policy for a
their position. But then there is
number of years, had come to
a difference between the Akalis
the realisation that the earlier
and the rest and rather a crucial
policy had been faulty and
one which should not be
hence and arrangement was
overlooked
under
any
worked out In terms of which a
circumstances. While the other
new chapter was to be
pOlitical parties are striving to
Inaugurated In Punjab pOlitics.
get into power, the Akalis
Within a few months there
actually enjoyed power. For
was a sliding back from the
them to have split over any
position taken in July, 1985. It
issue amounted to playing into
may have been gradual and
the hands of those who wanted
halting; it may not have been
to weaken and divide them . No
easy to identify, to start with; it
political
leader,
whether
may have come about as a
Barnala or Badal or anyone
result of pressures from within
else, can offer a convincing
the party. Whatever be the
explanation for their political
explanation and several more
conduct. Anyone who tries to
can be thought of the most
do so offers only a partial
explicit repudiation of the
explanation .
Accord came on January 26,
1986. That date had been set for
The simplest way to describe
the transfer of Chandigarh and
what the various Akall factions
that date was not adhered to. It
have done Is to say that what
must have been forthe first time
they have done and are. doing
in contemporary affairs that the
will lead to their eclipse or
plighted word of the head of the
liquidation In the long run. The
government was violated with
sentiment that they represent
out so much as a word of regret.
will not.dle but the political and
On the contrary, a completely
organisational form In which It
contrary position has been
expresses Itself will undergo
taken now and the situation has
changes.
Maybe
a
new
got further complicated. No
leadership will emerge.' Maybe
more needs to be said about it
a younger group of people take
for that is not the issue under
over. Maybe there Is further
discussion.
decimation of their ranks and
The issue under discussion is
much worse. Anyone of these
if the Centre has a policy
things can happen. But one
towards Punjab. The answer is
thing t"at will not happen is that
in the negative. Whether the
they develop a capacity to
President's rule was enforced
oppose the Centre's policy
because of Haryana elections
towards Punjab.
or some other compulsions, is a
The Centre has no policy
matter of detail. the inescapable
other than to wield the whipfact is that faced with the
hand. A declaration lik e the one
bankruptcy of its policy on the
that the Prime Minister made in
political and economic fronts,
Faridabad
is a blow to
the ruling party is left with no
democracy in the country . But
choice except to appeal to
then the situation ha s become
communal paSSions and in the
so muddled that even when
process deflect attention from
democracy is buried fathoms
other more urgent issues of the
deep there is hardly any protest.
restructuring of the economy
This is a comment both on
and the strengthening Of the
Indian democracy and the
-democratic
process. It is
oppOSition partie~
possible to provide more details

THF

FORUM

Open Forum

----------------------------------------------------~GA~-------------------------------------------------------

Communalism and
Secularism in India
Susheela Kaushlk

t is forty years since India


became independent. The
premises of this independence were a specific denial of
the 'two-nation theory' .
The circumstances and the
mode of the birth of the new
nation clearly dictated a course
that would positively oppose
communalism
and
any
widening of the religious divide.
But the India we see today is "
one that has exasperated rather
than encouraged the people on
the prospects of living together.
Despite the great strides by way
of
integration
in
the
development
pattern,
and
despite
the
benefits
of
development getting more or
less equally distributed among
the
elite
of
various
communities, the problem of
national
integration
still
continues .
It is this exasperation with the
futility of
battles agaisnt
communalism and the frequent
eruption of communal violence,
as well as its increasingly hoary
nature, thaf has made many
individuals develop a cynical
view
about
the
whole
functioning of democracy in
this country . It has led to the
belief th!'\t communalism is a
paying proposJtion . It will soon
lead to (perhaps has already
begun the process of) a
numbing of our sensibilities to
communalism, to the enormous
violence it is causing, and
perhaps even to the need for
national unity .
Secul.rllm
ecularism was adopted in
1947 as a political policy
and was incorporated in
the Constitution as a pious
objective . How far was this
concept, a well debated and
thought out one? Had its

implications for the society and


politics
in
India
been
understood or analysed?
Secularllm wal adopted
more al an ad hoc anlw.r to an
Imm.dlate
problem-the
carnage that mark.d the
partition of India. It was
believed that secular policy
alone would keep the future
unity of India Intact. This was
becaUI., the partition of India,
and the aUendant migration
.nd bloody rlotl were traced
e..entlally to religioul disunity,
discord
and
communal
dilloyaity to the nation and
national unity. Thul It I.ck.d a
proper empirical and loclal
analYll1 of the f.ctorl that led
to partition, of the nature of
partition, of thole who mlgr.ted
and abov. all those who did not.
A loclo-economlc analYlls of
the new nation known as
Paklltan wal ....ntl.1 .v.n to
underStand the nature and
balll of Communalilm In India.
Instead
the
issue
of
Communalism was approached
in a much moreemotionalway.
Sentiments rather than hard
realities, a wishful and liberal
idealistic notion of what India
should be rather than what
India was made of, both
culturally and economically,
seemed to have been the basis
of the policy to deal with
Communalism . Concepts like
'one
nation'
'religious
tolerance ', 'unity in diversity'
etc. came to be floated .
Not that these notions were
wrong or untimely. They had to
be spelt out and played up in the
times one lived then or one lives
now. But they cannot be
mistaken as substitutes for
finding a way to prevent or solve
the problem . For, those notions
in turn came to form the

bedrock of our political policies


known in a package form as
'secularism'. This packet in turn
gave birth to many policies and
actions that had their own long
term implications :tun,
(a) Secularism
in
became
the
antidote
to
Communalism and both were
treated
in
terms
of
a
psychological, cultural and
religious attitude to life, rather
than as one based on strong
and real material bases.
(b) In view of the historical
conditions under which they
were coined , secularism was
identified as positive and
nationalistic and communalism
as anti-national.
Once again, it meant, forthen
as well as for the future Indian
polity,
that concepts like
nationalism,
national
integration and national unity
were essentially vague cultural
attitudes
and
political
categories . That one can be
communal and nationalistic, in
fact one can be more communal
and
thereby
be
more
nationalistic,
that
national
integration
can
be along
communal lines, and above all
one can be communal in one 's
public
and
professional
relations and secular in one 's
personal
life
and
social
relations, and vice versa or all
these possibilities are ruled out
when
one
juxtaposes
secularism with communalism .
Any number of examplel like
tholeof Jlnnah and otherl, have
prov.d that th.re can b. luch a
dichotomy In actual life, and
that communalilm II born and
br.d by more than an attitude or
a patt.rn of Int.r-p.rsonal
relation I.
Hard
political
calculatlonl, real economic
ben.fltl,
ballc
Itructural
d.flclenclel
and
concr.te
International and diplomatic
pay-oHI c.n In an Iiolated as
well al a collullve pattern,
exploit underd.velopment In a
loclety, particularly within a
loclal group, to creat., nurture
and
aggravate
communal
tend.nclel within and between
the groupl. Th. rol. of mon.y
pow.r In cr.atlng communal
tenllonl
can
nev.r
be
und.r.ltlmated. Itl UI. to buy
the mUlcle pow.r II, by now,
well docum.nted.
(c) The policy of secularism
as adopted in India, in the
absence of any such concrete
and materialistic interpretation
of the origin and growth of
communalism and revivalism in
the twentieth century, tame to
identify ' itself as a pattern of
inter-group relations . Notions
like majority and minority
religious (or other) groups were
freely used rather than an
attempt
at
analysing
the
internal composition of these
groups.
Accusations
were
made, remedies were sought,
and policies were formulated in
terms of group interests and
group behaviour. The rasult
was that the state in its
eagerness
to
prevent
communalism and propagatE.
secularism,
adopted
a
numerical
measurement,

extended protection to the


numerical
minority,
and
intervened on the basis of social
categorh~s ,
rather
than
individuals.
In this pattern, elections and
political parties created and
utilised Institution I like vote
banks conslltlng of religious
heads and sectional chiefs.
Ritualism
rather
than
religiosity,
fundamentalism
rather than the philosophical
kernel, truths of religions,
obscurantist
traditionalism
rather than the deep rooted
Indian culture came to be
projected and promoted. It
became the common Interest of
all political groups to preserve
and protect communal vested
interest of the various religioul
sections 10 as to further their
own political and personal
ends.

present . An argument based on


the cultural plurality of India ' jis
the basis of communal strainS is
dangerous even for cultural
plurality-since it can make one
believe in and demand an
artifical uniformity of a fascist
state .
Fundamentalism
Alternatively , the religious
Called
otherwise
as
tolerence , 'unity in diversity ',
fundamentalism, this trend is
"live and let.live' etc.-equally
dangerous to democracy-for it
derived from our religious and
cuts into the rights and
cultural plurality and rooted in
development of individuals; it ' the historY,-while true can
blocks social change and
lead to an escapism and a
suffochokes attempts at social
failure to face the reality .
reforms and liberation of the
One thus needs to formulate
oppressed
sections
within
a new analysis of the class-base
those communities. It leads to
of communalism . The old and
an intervention by the state that
traditional analysis , is no longer
seeks to bring about social
valid , at least not in its totality .
unity and national unity on the
One also has to move away
basis of a balance. This is an
from identifying one or the
appeasement of th~ various
other religion , or one or the
religious groups and is a
other community on the basis
secularism
that
recognises
of numerical analysis.
these groups; that believes
The Nexus
these
groups
to
be
hile
a
political
homogenous social entities:
approach is needed to
hence negotiates with the
solve communalism as
leadership, (at which level the
a political issue, of late one
fundamentalist
religion ,
strongly believes, communabusiness and politics collude
lism has a base in the politicianand coincide) . It is a secularism
bureaucratic-commerce nexus.
where the state does intervene
If so what is the remedy for this?
(and not be neutral) ; but
Obviously
a
politicalintervenes to promote and
administrative
solution .
If
protect the social and gender
smuggling ,
foreign
trade,
heirarchy
within
the
foreign
money
and
religion/sect, rather than help
international factors work in
to dissolve or dilute this
collusion
to
bring
about
heirarchy.
communal riots and violence ,
It Is, henc., Itate Intervention
the remedy lies in a strong
that helther promotel jUltice,
administrative cum political
nor democr.cy, nor In fact
approach . One cannot be a
lecularllm Itself.
A historian in his/her superior
cynic to believe that these
wisdom, an anthropologist in
cannot be removed, or that they
his/her knowledge ranging over
are a part of the system or that
time and space, give us a view of
they emanate from the social
the vast canvas of the cultural
structure-for the simple reason
depth and plurality of the Indian
that secularism is also part of
civilisation .
To
a
social
the values of the present
scientist, particularly to a
system, and that the system and
the
structure
demand
political
scientist
who
is
secularism for its very stability
impatient with the present, and
and sustenance . One need'not
is anxious towards the future,
be a misanthrope and predict
such a canvas not merely looks
the
inevitability
of
like a tour-de-horizon into the
communalism, as a part of the
past, but rationalisation of the
Contiuned on page 15

Secularism should .make use of the s.me


medium that Communalism employs-group
contacts, person to person talk etc. It should
employ the good offices, the religious portali
of the various religious heads, etc.
Fortunately the bulk of them are not
communal In their orientation. Communalism
harps on the weak pOints of religion when It
invokes the slogan of "Religion being if'
danger", or when it emphasises thi.'.
observance of religious ritualism; above all it ..
seeks to rally the people around to protect
and perserve the religion which otherwise, in
an emerging, market oriented capitalist
sQclety is getting pushed behind the secular.'
economic forces.

5 July-19 July

..

1..1 9

lliE

FORUM

---------------------------------------------------GAZEnc----------------------------------------------------the President's office as an


instrument
for
political
manouvering .

The President
Continued from page 1

the issue is not new but has


been there right from the
inception of the Constitution . It
has been surfacing from time to
time . So much depends on the
party positions, personalities
involved and the general
political atmosphere prevailing
in the country and so on. So far
it has remained limited to the
level of discussion and debate.
But that is no guarantee against
actual political action.

Assertion
On September 18 1951 Dr.
Rajendra Prasad sent a note to
Nehru in which he expressed
the desire to act solely on his
own judgement, independent of
the council of ministers in
regard to giviing asent to bills,
sending
messages
to

Will V.R. Krishna Iyer, If elected, dismiss the


Prime Minister or dissolve the Lok Sabha?
Will Venktaraman try ta protect RaJlv Gandhi
in case his position Is threatened becaus,9 of
friction In the party? Normally such questions
should not arise in a democracy. But in our
system, where leadership Is not allowing both
institutions and conventions to get stablised
and develop these questions are not only
being asked but are po~ing a serious
challenge to democracy.
Secondly, from 1969 on
wards the terms of the
President and Parliament, have
not been coterminous . Thus
there are not only chances of
the President and the Prime
Minister belonging to different
parties and having different
ambitions or views but more
importantly fluid conditions like
those of 1979 may recur. In 1979
for instance the President had
to take decisons on his own.
In this situation the office of
the President and who holds it
has become a very important
issue and will remain so untill a
stable and clear party system
emerges and some definite
conventions with regard to the
working
of
Parliamentary
government get established .
Both these seem to be a cry in
the wilderness at least in the
near future

Ambiguity
So far the trend ha. been
toward.
ambiguity ' and
confu.lon. It ..em. that the
framer. of the con.tltutlon
wanted to make the office of the
Pre.ldent one of dignity and
honour to .ymboll.e the
.overelgnty and unity of India
and at the .ame time a wielder
of political power a. the la.t
resort.
Nehru
told
the
Con.tttuent Aaaembly, "We
want
to
empha.l..
the
mlnl.terlal character of the
government that power really
re.lde. In the Mlnl.try and
legl.lature and not In the
Pre.ldent a uch. At the .ame
time we do not want the
Pre.ldent lu.t a mere figurehead ..... "
The first three Presidents Dr.
Rajendra Prasad, Dr. Radha
Krishnan and Dr. Zakir Hussain ,
were men of letters and great
statesm'en. Though they always
acted i'n accordence with the
advice of the Council of
Ministers, at the same time
conveyed an impression that
the
President
was
not
equivalent to a constitutional
monarch . Of course the party
situation was also largely
responsible for this, but more
important
were
the
personalities of ' both the
Presidents and Prime Minister
Nehru and of the vision of
leadership
they
shared.
Nevertheless, doubts about the
10

5 July-19 July 1987

Presidential Power.
Thus, the question about the
exercise of Presidential powers ,
real or imaginary by the
President himself or by the
Prime Minister has become a
live issue. It is not just what the
letter of the law allows but what
the actors wish to do and what
the country will take . As has
been said above at present
Presidential and the Parliamentary terms are no more
coterminous . In this situation a
President may get actively
associated with partiese. How
he will act, in what manner or
how he will be treated by the
party in power have thus
become
very
significant
questions for the future of the
Indian system of parliamentary
democracy.

powers of the President were


expressed both openly and
privately.

Parliament and returning Bills


to Parliament for reconsideration . Again in 1960, while laying
the foundation stone of the
Indian Law Institute he called
upon the scholars to examine
the powers of the PrE!sident,
"purely as a subject of study
and investigation in a scientific
manner."
Dr. Prasad's skepticism was
based on a very sound legal
logic. The legal sovereignty in
India
resides
in
the
Constitution, while in England
the crown is the source of all
power. The Queen does no
wrong, but the President of
India does when he violates
constitutional provisions for
which
he
is
liable
to
impeachment. He can be
impeached
by
Parliament
which is prone to judge every
issue from a pOlitical angle
rather than the legal. Moreover
the President is elected by an
electoral college comprising all
the elected members of the
State legislatures and the Union
Parliament. He, therefore , owes
a duty to the States as well as to
the Centre. He has a wider
sphere of responsibility than
the Central government.
After 1967 elections, when
the Congress lost its majority in
a number of States and its
got
reduced
strength
significantly at the Centre, the
role of the Governor in the
States
took
on
a
new
dimension, somewhat away
from
the
concept
of a
constitutional
head . There
emerged apprehensions that in
a similar situation at the Centre
the President can also play the
same role as - the Governors
were playing at the State level.

Prime Minister's
President
t was in this background that
increasing factionalism in
the Congress in 1969 created
an impression that the office of
the President could be used for
political purposes. Thus started
an era in which in place of well
respected and non-controversial public men , the Prime
Minister's
President
were
installed V.V. Giri, owed his
Presidential tenure to Mrs .
Gandhi. Fakhrudin Ali Ahmed
the loyalist of Mrs. Gandhi, was
the next choice. He silently

Giani Zail Singh . Abject loyalty to Assertion

watched India heading towards


authoritarianism , It was he who
signed the order for imposing
the
emergency.
As
was
revealed
later
on,
the
proclamation of the emergency
on June 26 1975 was not a
recommendation of the cabinet
but only of the Prime Minister.
Morarji Desai regretted that

the Janta Party chose Mr.


Sanjiva Reddy as President.
According to him he wasa man
with political ambitions and
interests. In 1982, the open
expression of loyalty and'
gratitude to the Prime Minister
by
Presidential
candidate ,
Giani Zail Singh confirmed the
missgivings of those who see

WII! V.R. Krishna Iyer, if


elected, dismiss the Prime
Minister or dissolve the Lok
Sabha? Will Venktaraman try to
protect Rallv Gandhi in case his
position is threatened because
of friction In the party?
Normally
such
questions
should
not
arise
in
a
democracy. But In our system,
Is
not
where
leadership
allowing both institutions and
conventions to get stabllsed
and develop these questions
are not only being asked but are
posing a serious challenge to
democracy.

The Campaign
While
there
are
three
can'didates for the Presidential
election only one Justice V.A.
Krishna Iyer is engaged in some
serious campaigning . Mr. R
Venkataraman relying on the
Congress (I) majority in the
electoral college is confident of
his victory and is depending
only on the party whip which
can be issued any day directing
all the Congress (I) members to
vote for him .
One other candidate Mr.
Mithilesh Kumar has clearly
said that his aim in filing the
nomination paper was limited
to get press publicity which he
has got .. He has neither the
resousces nor nay support to
undertake
any
serious
campaigning.
Justice V.A. Krishna Iyer is
taking this opportunity as a
mission . He knows it prety well
that going by the domination of
mathematics
the
electoral
calculas is obviOusly predeterm ined . But he feels that
some kind of call comes which
is reminiscent of what Jawahar
Lal Nehru called the tryst with
destiny. To that call, Justice
Iyer suggests, his response is
genuine and therefore it is
mission for him .
The mission is to restore the
constitutional harmony, that
constitutional righteousness,
that healthy legal relationship
which will make our political
process run smooth reSistlessly
onto fulfilment of its destined
course.
It is in this spirit that Justice
Krishna Iyer has launched a
serious campaign . He is visiting
various State capitals, talking to
the press and writing to voters.
In an interview Mr. Krishna
Iyer said he~d appealed to the
Congress MPs and MLAs that

before casting their votes they


should pause and think, and
vote
"according
to
their
conscience" He did not rule out
the possibility of holding a
meeting with the BJP president,
Mr. L.K. Advani , to seek
reconsideration of the party's
stand to boycott the poll .
Mr. Krishna Iyer said his tour
of different states as part of his
election campaign was a
"constitutional pilgrimage to
propound the philosophy of the
Indian president. Whether I will
fill the bill or not, I cannot say."
He clarified that he had
conveyed his philosophy even
to the opposition parties which
were supporting him .
Mr. Krishna Iyer said that
Pandit
Jawaharlal
Nehru
strongly believed that the
President should be a person of
high authority and dignity and
should not be a dummy. He said
that a renewed campaign for
the restoration of the office of
'the President was necessary at
the present juncture because of
what ne termed as the "contraelimination of the President by
the Prime Minister" due to the
laUer's
refusal
to supply
information to the former.
Labelling the differences
between the head of the state
and hte head of the govenment
as the "President-PM
syndrome" , he said: "If a prime
minister became delinquent,
the
president
had
the
repponsibility to offer advice".
"But as for the recent
controversy, he said it was
difficult to say who was to
blame. However, the irony was
that the political process had
got clogged .
Mr. Krishna Iyer said the
President had a vital role in the

form of a check on legislative


and administrative matters. He
asserted : " I stand by a certain
philosophy of the Indian
presidency. I will keep a watch
on the working of the ministers .
I will not exempt even the Prime
Minister from scrutiny. "
He elaborated this by saying
that the cabinet was meant to
but
it
was
the
govern,
responsibility of the President
to audit, watch and advise . For
this purpose , he could ask for
information or even reconside ration of a particular decision .
The situation today is such that
if a president wants some
information , he is told it cannot
be given ".
Admitting the "arthimetical
superiority" of the Congress
and saying the opposition has
little chance of victory , he
called upon his voters to
exercise their right on the basis
of their "best judgement" .
UNI
adds:
The
issue ,
according to Mr. Justice Iyer
was not " who will be the
President ,
but
what
the
presidency would be like ."
Mr. Justice Iyer reiterated
that the president is " neither a
parrot nor a puppet. The
president
is also
not a
ceremonial head or one of the
expensive futilities created by
the Indian Constitution, " he
said, adding "he cannot be a
non-entity ."
The president, according to
Mr. Justice Iyer, " has to fulfil
expectations of people when
something goes wrong in the
country. " He "is not supposed
to be a cocoon in the
Rashtrapati
Bhawan
when
there is the grossest and
flagrant
violation
of
the
Constitution," he said .

mE

________________~F~~~~M-.. ----------------An Appeal To The


Electorate For The
Presidential Poll
group of concerned public
Amen,
Inder Kumar
in~luding

GUJral, Romesh Thapar, Rajni


Kothari,
Justice
Rajinder
Sachar (retd) Dr. Amrik Singh
and others have issued an
appeal to the presidential
electors. This appeal is of
interest to the larger citizenry as
well we publish below the text
of the appeal.
n July 13, you will be
selecting the next President
of India. We, as concerned
citizens, would like you to
consider the following issues
before you cast your valuable
vote to one or the other
candidate.
lection of the President of
the Re(>ublic is not a party
affai r nor is it an exercise o.
ordinary
voting - right
of
members of Parliament and
State Assemblies. In ordinary
circumstances
the
voting
behaviour of members is
governed by party affiliations
which is now subject to the
Constitution
(fifty Second)
Amendment Act, popularly
known as the anti-defection law .
Realising the special status of
Presidential
election,
Parliament has limited the
scope of anti-defection law to
voting "in the House" and not to
election of President which is
the Constitutional authority of
every elected member. In other
words, when you act to elect the
President, you are acting on
behalf of the entire electorate in
your constituency irrespective
of narrow considerations of
caste, region , party and other
affiliations. The only constraint
in the exercise of your power is
your
own
conscientious
judgment for serving belit the
interest of th", nation. This is the
reason why even party whips
are
neither
issued
nor
appropriate in the Presidential
poll.
Please
take
into
consideration
the
various
challenges the country is facing
today
and
exercise
your
constitutional authority on July
13 without in any way being
inhibited by party constraints
and polifical implications . We
do hope the sale criterion will
be the interest Of the nation

(and not the party in power


protem) and the superior merit
of the candidate to serve that
great interest. Indeed, the duty
to cast your vote to render your
verdict as to who should be
President is too non-negotiable
to be fettered by lesser
loyalties. India summons and
you respond .
he .President under our '
Constitutional scheme is an
important
functionary
reflecting
the
unity
and
integrity of the nation and
embodying the traditions and
aspirations of its people. He is
neither a rubber-stamp of the
government of the day nor is he
a super-Prime Minister to sit in
Judgment over the wisdom of
t: ,e Cabinet and the Parliament.
The very fact that he is elected
by the entire people of India. of
course, through their elected
representatives , indicates the
great status of office, eminence
of the incumbent and the wide
scope of his high authority and
dignity. Never in the political
history of independent India
has the role of the President
become so crucial to the
survival of our Republic as it is
today. The relative role and
power of the President and the
Prime Minister are being totally
misunderstood and plunged in
party polemics to the detriment
of
national progress and
constitutional discipline. The
paralysis
of
the
political
process is self-evident. This is
fatal to the stability and
strength of our Republic. We
need
a
President
who
understands the Constitutional
scheme and is capable of
applying the same without fear
of
political
or
personal
considerations .
He
should
therefore obviously not be a
party or one personally obliged
or obedient to the majority
party of the day or its leader or
the Prime Minister. He has a
national role of Independent
'Counsellor and, on execptional
CClccasions, actor.
he election of an independent
President need not be
interpreted as weakening of the
Prime Minister. On the contrary
it strengthens his authority and

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promotes his legitimacy and


effectiveness in government
and
fertilises
the
power
process. However, a pliable
President obliged to the Prime
Minister or the Government for
his position is a positive danger
to Constitutionalism and rule of
law. In such a situation, we, the
People of India will further be
marginalised
and
political
power of the State will be more
and more privati sed Mafia hold
on the nation's economy will
in!=rease and the integrity and
security of the country will be
jeopardised making Parliament
unable
to
discharge
its
constitutional responsibilities.
The President's right of
information is a Constitutional
right necessary for the healthy
functioning of democracy and
the welfare of the nation and it
cannot be a matter left to the
sweet will of the Prime Minister
or the Cabinet of Minister. The
political process should not be
permitted to be paralysed by
the blockade of the flow of
information to the President as
it will in turn paralyse the
constitutional system itself.
We do believe the issues at
stake are too serious to . be
ignored at this crucial hour
when you go to choose the
Republic' next President. By
voting an independent and
upright man beyond party
affiliations, neither the office of
the Prime Minister will come in
jeopardy
nor
will
the
government's functioning be in
danger. On the ' other hand, it
will only help restore the
Constitutional balance and
arrest the moral degradation
afflicting public life in the
country. Parliament, of which
the President is a part under the
Constitution, will then play its
great part in defense of the
country.
We leave it now to your best
judgment and hope that you
shall keep the interest of WE
THE PEOPLE OF INDIA in
making your choice in electing
the Head of the State.

The monsoon bird or "Kala Papiha",

The Forum Gazette


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RAJINDER
TUBES LIMITED
Manufacturers of
STEEL PIPES & TUBES
Regd & Head Office:117/H-2 126, Pandav Nagar,
Ka~pur-208005

Phones PBX-21-6605, Gram:


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21-5881, 21-8160
Telex No-325 299 RTL IN
Branches: Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi.
5 July 19 July 1987 11

11iE

FORUM

This Fortnights Story

------------------------------------------------GAU~-------------------------------------------------

SANSKAR
GURMUKH SINGH JEET
quadron Leader Ravendran was put on alert at
four on Saturday morning.
When he returned from his first
mission late in the evening he
straightway hit the sack . He did
not hope to get much sleep with
the war going full scale. But he
did, strangely enough. Gauhati
was the main Air Force station
sending out bombing sorties.
He could be called upon any
time . He knew that it would take
him only ten minutes to get
dressed and report at the Duty
Room . He was a fighter pilot.

When he woke up in the


morning, he found his wife Niti
still lost to the world. She had
been to a late party last evening .
"Niti, wake up I m going on a
mission again," he said shaking
her gently by the shoulder. She
muttered something indistinct,
turned a side and was lost to her
dreams.

Forest' area for the married


officers .
They were the star attraction
as soon -as they landed at the
party. A party missed the
natural verve unless Niti turned
up. Not that Ravindran did not
know about the popularity of
his wife at the parties. But he did
not feel jealous of it. In fact ,
there was no place for petty
jealousies in the life of a pilot,
especially a fighter pilot. The
life of a fighter pilot hung on a
weak,
invisible
thread .
Therefore, he took life by the
horns and enjoyed every
moment of it.
A pilot's wife too lived on raw
nerves.
Therefore
pilots
normally did not object to thei r
wives having a bit of good time.
So Niti could have as much fun
as she could take. A little bit of
gin or sherry and she would let
herself go. This would also be

could still bring small, small


joys of life into Ravindran's life,
it was a feat which could not be
explained.
She saw him off at the door in
the night gown . Her eyes were
still heavy with sleep. She
forthwith returned to the bed . In
a few moments she was asleep
again. She next woke up at
eiaht.
She
looked
for
riavindran. His side of the bed
was empty. She had to worry
somewhat
before
she
remembered that he had gone
on a mission early that morning .

the signal for the party to be on


its hooves. Ravindran did
grudge carrying a besotted wife
home at the end of a party. This
duty had to be performed by
Menon last even ing . She was
drun k. But not so drunk that she
did not know that she was with
Menon . She was continuously .
hugging him . Menon moved her
so deeply and thoroughly as
Ravindran could not. Therefore
whenever she was with Menon
. she exploited each and every
second of his company .
When the duty jeep driver
blew
his
horn
outside
Ravindran's bungalow , she was
ready. The sound of the horn
also pierced the wooly slumber
of Niti and she woke up with a
start. That particular sound was
like an alarm for a pilo t's wife.
Only she knew the connotation
of that sound . She feared the
death of her husband every
moment he was away. Even
though he would tell herself not
to think so. But she could not
help . Moreover it was a
knowledge that she could not
share with anyone. She had to
. bear with it :'erself alone till the
husband returned home. In
fact, Niti's cross was far heavier
than that of Ravindran . If she

She stretched languidly and


then went out and sat in the sun .
The
October
sun
was
pleasantly warm . Normally the
sun was a rarity in Assam . Most
of the time it was mist or hazy
sun . But the sun that day was
clear and bright. The cook
brought her tea . Niti was still
struQQling with the hangover of
the party last night. Her
memory was still tingling with
the
thrill
that
she
had
experienced in the arms of
Menon . How sweet was his
breath! And then to be brouQht
home by him! She wished that it
should always be Menon who
should bring her back from a
party.
Her reverie was interrupted
by another image, that of her
husband , out on a dangerous
mission . It made her shiver. She
felt as if her hair had turned into
spikes which were falling oft
one by one. She did show some
grey in her hair already, though
she was only thirty . Then the
images went pell-mell. She
blinked to clear her mind of the
messed up images. But she
failed. Instead she started
stroking her forehead w ith her
finger tips. She tried to
concentrate on sipping tea . But

As usual it was a hell of a


party last evening at the mess.
The atmosphere was gay and
whisky flowed freely. There
were frequent part ies at the
mess. The officers did not have
to search for an excuse to have
a party. The last evening
celebration was for an officer
who had been promoted Wing
Commander. Niti was also at
the party though at the moment
she left for it, her husband
Ravindran was on a sortie over
the enemy territory .
She was worried to hell about
her husband's safety. That was
why she had at f irst refused to
go to the party. However the
officers were not going to take
no from her. She was the life of
the party. Besides she was the
most adorable woman on the
station . Therefore they sent
Squadron Leader Menon to
fetch her. When Menon looked
deep into hereyesand implored
her to accompany him to the
party, she just could not say no.
Menon moved her deeply. Her
soul went aflutter whenever she
felt the closeness of Menon 's
body. His warm breath would
stir up an emotional upheaval in
her and then she would just let
her self go. From there on it was
squeeze and crush all the way.
What a magic there was in
Menon's touch! His way was
take-it-as-you-can .
" Niti , what you can enjoy
today you must not put off for
tomorrow, " he would often tell
her. It invariably brought a
blush on her face.
She started dressing up as
soon as she had consented to
go to the party. She chose a
navy blu~ sari for the evening .
She gav~ a vigorous brush to
her shoulder length hair to add
lustre to the natural glow of her
hair. Menon could not help
whoop, with pleasure when she.
came out after dressing up.
"You're just marvellous, Niti. .
How many coups you're going
to hole today?
"As many as the scalps are
there at the party. You can do
the counting ."

She perched on th~- p illion


seat of his scooter ancftogether
they left the ' Golden Oak

it was equally futile. If only her


"Thefe aren't many pilots of
two children were not yet
Ravindran's mettie . A true
patriot, if I may say. I'm sure he
asleep.
She sat on, lost to the world . A
would
be
awarded
Veer
fly buzzed around the rim of the
Chakra. " But would Veer
Chakra replace Ravindran? she
cup which still contained a few
was think ing . Why did not they
sips of lukewarm tea . But she
give the Veer Chakra to
was not aware of it. She was just
someone else and return her
feeling lost. Her mind was either
Ravindran. The Commander
blank or so crowded with
went on making promises, that
images that it did not make any
he would see to it that
sellse . She was staring fixed ly
Ravindran did get the Veer
at I he grass beyond the pale of
Chakra and that the Air Force
tea , lOy.
A ter a while she raised her did the maximum for her. But all
of it sounded hollow to her. She
gazl and encountered the
figUi 3 of Malti Rao, wife of the , had lived with the terr.ible
knowledge of sudden widowStation Commander. Malti was
hood ; knowledge which she did
entering the Golden Oak Forest
not share with anyone , nor with
Areas for the married officers'
the wives of other pilots even .
quarters. She was walking with
And that knowledge was now a
a bowed head . She was com ing
reality.
straight towards her. A couple
The lawn soon filled up with
of more officers' wives were
neighbouring women. Their
foliowinQ her. Niti wanted to
husbands too came to offer
believe that they had not come
condolence. Grief was writ large
to call upon her. She wished
on the face of each one of them.
their steps were directed
They were with -her in her
But het mind
elsewhere.
moment
of tragedy.
The
refused to ignore the truth .
children too woke up. Malti
Malti was coming towards her.
directed the ayah to take them
Malti was the harbinger of the
to another house. Women
news, the news ttl at every pilot's
began to leave one by one. They
had to take care of the domestic
chores like lunch and so on .
Food came for Niti from the
Commander's house. Malti
tried her best to make her eat
some . But she reiteratEld only
one answer: she was not
hungry.
" Niti dear, trust in God . You
can 't live for ever without food .
And you do need energy to bear
with your sorrow ."
She sat on in the lawn till the
wintry sun began to pale on its
downslide. She half heard that
Ravindran's family had been
informed telegraphicaly of the
tragedy; that her family too had
been similarly informed . The
steps taken by the Commander
were also conveyed to her
dutifully. But her mind refused to
accept any bit of i"nformation .
Her
mind
was
set
on
penetrating the gloom to find
only one point of her interest
and she could not reach it.
Perhaps she would never.
A neighbour turned up with
tea in the evening . She forced
her to sip some . The day
passed. But time did not pass
w ife fears all her life; the
for her. It had stopped . It had
ultimate news. The . unschealso hamstrung Niti. She
culed visit of the Commander's
struggled to get free of it. She
wife meant only one thing . To
succeeded somewhat but not
soften the bad news. I n that
all. The children returned
moment she realised that she
home. She clasped them to her
was a widow and her children
breast and cried silently.
were orphans; that she would
Evening was coming on fast.
soon be seeking employment in
She was not aware of it. She was
some school.
feeling so lonely. It had never
Malti was looking very grave.
been like this before. Not even
Being the wife ot the titatlon
when Ravindran W . : oIay. She
Commander
it
was
her
had so much to do, so much to
obligation to convey the bad
engage her attention. Now
news to the aggrieved family.
there was nothing; nothing but
She put a consoling hand on the
loneliness. The star day of the
heaving shoulders of Niti .
" Patience, Niti , patience, dear. week, Saturday, too did not
hold any promise to her. And
We don't know for certain yet.
how she had always looked
His plane was shot down. But
forward to it, to tam bola and
he might've bailed out. You
dancing. There was al80
never know ."
drinking and gOSSiping.
But Niti was not listening to
She felt broken up. Shattered.
her. She beat her forehead in
It was a strange feeling . The
distress. Tears flowed in a flood
evening did not touch her; the
from her eyes. She knew that
evening which always meant
Malti was covering up. Her
maximum gaiety and laughter.
husband was dead, Dead and
But today the evening was a
lost. Not even the last rites for
dead shell. She just sat numb
him.
and empty, drowned in her
Women from the neighbourgrief. Her friends tried to pull
bungalows
gathered
ing
her out of sorrow. But it was no
around her. They tried to
use; no use without her own
console
the
inconsolab le.
will. Malti too was worried
Meanwhile
the
Station
Commander himself turned up. about her shocked state. She

THE

FORUM

----------------------------------------------------------GAZET~IE~----------------------------------------------------------

trends, of deep import for the among other measures, made


without being aware of it. But
Even a shadow of smile flashed
too tried hard to pu:: her out of
future of the Indian state use ot the States serious and
across her face, whenever she was inexorably slipping
it. But nothing worked . It
structure, have emerged .
aggravating financial plight to
Menon passed a witty remark.
became the worry of everyQne
into the mess atmosphere.
on the Station, including the
She felt the thick layers of
Then Menon asked her for a
On the one hand several reduce them to subservience
subordination
to
Commander.
sorrow peeling off her as the dance. She just :stared at him.
developments have made It and
The sun sank into the Bara
minutes stretched .
Her upper lip fluttered slightly more than ever necessary to themselves, irrespective of the
Pani lake in thee vast valley of
The bearer brought drinks to showing her uncertain mind . reinforce the federal character party in power at the State level ,
Umroi behind the distant hill.
them . Everyone accepted but The Commander was also
of the Constitution. These with the result that Cp-ntre-State
Dusk was growing fast. A
no one put his lips to the glass
awaiting her response. Menon
Include: (I) disappearance of relations have emerged as a
couple of neighbours provided
They
were
all
looking apprehending her uncertainty
several of the circumstances major public issue with a
explos ive
her
company,
a
silent,
questioningly at Niti. Menon put his arm around her waiste,
which provided the rationale for tremendous
potential.
conversation less
company.
ordered a gin for her. She helped her stand up and then
some significant expenditures
The
solution
lies
in
They did not know what to talk
received the goblet and :stared
led her to the floor. And then from the strict federal concept;
rejuvenation and consolidation
to her. One suggested that she
over it. After many a dragging one look into the deep black (II) the perceptible quickening
of the badly battered lederal
should be taken out into the
moment she patted her hair and eyes of Menon and her feet of the process of emergence of
character of the Constitution
fresh air. But Niti did not want
then took a sip of gin . The Full started moving of their own. 0
India as a multi-national society
This requires, together with
to. Another just lifted her and
House was announced . There (Translated
from
Orginal based on IIguistic diversity;
other measures, the elimination
brought her out on the road.
was still time for dinner. Niti
(III) the growing awakening
Punjabi by RAJ GILL)
of
the
present
serious
They started walking as if in a
drink
sipped
her second
among the ethnic groups; and
imbalance between the States '
dream. At the turning, they
(Iv) deliberate reorganisation of
Constitutional responsibilities
came across Menon . He too
States on a linguistic basis has
and
their
sou rcess
and
joined the group. He had called
predominantly
made
them
opportunities to raise as a
on Niti during the day also. Now
homelands
of
dlslnct
peoples.
Continued from page 3
matter of right, the funds
he started talking in a low but
these
were
Obviously
in
The inevitable conflict rooted
borrowings
of
Rajasthan
were
needed for due discharge of
deep voice of the uncertain
response to the circumstances in
the
two contradictory these responsibilities so that ,
set at an amount approaching
destiny of the fighter pilots.
prevailing
at
the
time
of
its
developments
poses a serious except for the particularly
that
of
Maharashtra;
of
Gujarat,
Their life always hung by a
to
national
unity,
at less two-thirds of that of adoption . These departures threat
disadventaged States, it may
spider thread . They did not
somewhat dilute the federal democracy,
secularism,
Madhya
Pradesh
;
and
of
not be necessary for them to
know at which moment it would
economic
Punjab, at the lowest amount character of the Constitution independent
knock at the Centre's door for
break. But it was harder on their
but surely do not destroy it. development
and
social
among all non-special category
financial assistance.
wives who had to worry all the
. States,
even
lower than , Over the 37 years since the progress, indeed all that the
time about their safe return . Niti
of
the freedom movement stood and
Haryanas's which has no more commencement
A
reasonable
financial
looked up at Menon . He was
than three-fourths of Punjab's Constitution two contradictory strove for. The central isers have balance between the Centreand
reaching her numb mind. She
population.
the
States Is
a crl,lclal
tried to smile at him but failed.
The explanation lies in the , - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - . requirement lor appropriate
"Nevertheless," Menon was
fact that the total amount of
and
harmonious
relations
saying, "one can't be casual Or
The Indian Constituion ha's an essentially
market
borrowing,
its
between the two basic levels of
in different to life. One has to
distribution among the Centre,
federal chaqctor. This derived its rationale
governments as well "s for
live one's destined time . One
the states and the financial
checkmating the authorltaslon
from
the
need
to
reconcile,
in
as
vast
and
can't do anything about it
and
the
institutions,
hegemonlstlc, and exploitative
neither subtract a moment nor
diverse a country as India, the imperatives of
distribution of States' share
designs of the Centallsers.
add one to it. If one had to live
the country's unity and integrity with the
among individual States are all
Such a balance is surely
then why under the shadow of
technically feasible. But where
a matter of deliberate decision
legitimate
claims
of
liguistic,
cultural
and
the death; why not with one's
by the Centre. The States'
Is the political will to works
ethnic diversity, thus resting national unity
chin up."
towards that?
market
borrowinQs
have
They realised suddenly that
and security on solid foundations.
become e::;sentially a form of
they had walked up to the mess.
Central assistance for State
Menon invited her in . She
Plans. Clearly , the states' own L-_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _- - '
wanted to profess her gratitude
capital receipts, and the portion
with a smile. But she could not
of their capital expenditure
muster it. She refused the
financed by these, is in fact
invitation instead. But Menon
substantially lower than what
took her hand into his own and
the traditional coverage of
pleaded. At last she allowed him
these receipts would suggests.
to lead her into the mess . .
Overall Financial '
It was Saturday evening. As
Dependence
usual noisy and gay. The
tambola game was on. They
In recent years the States'
could hear the announcer. Five
aggregate "own" revenue and
and three, fiftythree, seven and
capital receipts have tended to
two seventy two and the tumble
fall
below 50% of their
up sixtyseven. A few young
combined revenue and capital
officers were drinking rum and
expenditure: 1984-85, 50.6%,
chatting cheerily at the bar.
1985-86 (R.E.), 48.7%, and
They came to their feet
1986-87 (B.E.), 49.5% . The
respectfully as Niti entered the
actuals of State Budgets for
room . They invited her to join
1986-87 will probably show a
them. But she failed to warm up
lower percentage than yielded
to them. The atmosphere of the
by the Budget estimates for the
mess was as usual. People were
year. Correspondingly, the
States'
dependence
on
drinking, playing cards, billiard
resource transfers from the
or tambola and being happily
Centre for financing their total
loud and' noisy. Nothing had
CANTER; Japan's I~ ~Ilins !lUCk in ilS class, has ~Iready been
expenditure has tended to
changed. Only Ravindran was
Iounchrd in !he Indian mar1<et in /oNly 1986. The Indi~n mar1<et 9dS the
exceed 50%: 1984-85, 45.5%;
missing. The thought made her
IMd adIIenced version 01 the ~ ;::ANTER which WM launchrd
1985-86 (R.E.), 53.4%; and
eye rims to burn. She sighed .
in Japon In NoIIem~ 1985
1986-87
(B.E.),
49.7%
.
The
Menon guided her into the
CANTER is ~d in J-whttl ~ suitatlle tor Sf!'o'f!f~1 ~pplicatiorls
for
1986-87
will
liu delivery von, soft drink carrier ' LPG cylin<ler camer, two ....t>t:eier
actuals
tam bola room . They took a
carller, tanker, etc The long 3760 mm wheel oase, uni~ only to
probably show a higher than
back
seat.
The
mess
CANTER. provides f!XIIlI economy/such M )4se.ster P~s~nger Bus.
50% rates.
atmosphere began to thaw her.
A CAMftIt c.r- of INCIc. bioi end corulncr _ wtU be 1ft
The
overall
(combined
It seemed to her that Menon's
yaur tDowII, ItitI", ......... -..po, tnIdI end but . . . . .
revenue and capital) deficit,
voice dominated even th~t of
Come, seethe No. 1 IIx tonner.
financed by running down
the announcer. It was reaching
States' accumulated reserves
her clear. The announcer
or, up to 1984-85, also by
dronEd on: across the runway
unauthorized overdrafts from
forty three- and eight and one,
E . . .R
the Reserve Bank' accounts for
kiss and run . Menon was talking
the
balance
funding
for
total
light,
telling
jokes. More
Authorized Representative for Delhi
expenditure. Broadly speaking,
officers joined them. Once in a
the States taken as a whole
while Niti would register a'joke
currently depend on various
Ji)~
and manage a pale smile of
channels of resource transfers
~
appreciation. She began to feel
from the Centre for financing
that she must not impose her
SIicMfoom. C-91/10, \JI~ 1ndu$1rleIIvea, Rins Roed, Delht- 1100si
no less than around 50% of their
personal grief on others, must
Tel 711632.,7216171 , 7113886
combined
revenue
and
capital
not demoralise the other pilots.
~. 0IIfa . tI04, Rohit House, TaIIItOy MirS. ~ DeIhi-110001
expenditure.
The
position
Tet. 3318761, 331287.
Just then the announcer called
wen ShotJ. Serei Popel Thall~, AdafY\ ~, [)e1h,110033
varies with individual States.
snowQal1. Menon went and
Tel 7120352, 748383
The Constitution no doubt
bought tickets . Niti had to go
~~.,~.,
.,.,..,.,..,~
made
some
significant
alongwith Menon against her
departures from the strict
will. With every following
federal concept but several of
snowball Niti began to thaw.

States Dependence

r.w.w.w~~~;:;;.w.w
Japan's No. 1 si~ tonner
Now in India

M.T.U . . . . ..

/ A.S. Ajit Singh & Co. Pvt. Ltd.

..

5 July-19 July 1987 13

THE

FORUM

~-------------------------------------------G~------------------------------------------------

Restructuring Punjab
Economy
Continued from page 5

rose from 59200 in 1968-69 to


262270 in 1979-80 and diesel
pumpsets from 29100 to 263000
during the same period . The
growth in the number of
electrical pumpsets in the case
of Punjab during the period was
344 percent as against All-India
average
increase
of
264
percent. The corresponding
figures for diesel sets were 807
and 268 percent respectively.
Since 1979-80 growth in the
number of pumpsets in the
State has been palpably slow
which shows inv stments in
this field are no more seen to be
profitable by the farmer. Thus
against a target of 11000, only
2900 pumpsets were energized
in 1981-82 and against a target
of 21500 only 800 in 1983-84. A
part of the explanation for this
precipitous decline in the
growth rate of pumpsets may lie
in
the
unsettled, political
conditions in the State after
1979-80. But that factor does
not appear to have exercised
any material influence so far as
agricultural operations and
crop productiol\ are concerned .
The larger part of the
explanation obviously lies in
the fact that outer limits of
profitable
investments
in
agriculture are fast being
reached and the scope for lise
of agricultural surpluses for
capital formation in the farm
sector is steadily narrowing
down. It is in 'the interest of not
only the farmer but also of the
economy
that
country's
alternative
investment
opportunities
s. e
made
available in the non-farm sector
for profitable emp 'loyment of
surplus funds frO~il agriculture.
Employment Opportunities
t is the same story in regard
to employment opportunites
for trained and educated
labour. The spread ot education
. among the agricultural classes
in the State, particularly the Jat
Sikhs,
has
not
been
accompanied. by expansion of
job opportunities outside the
agricultural field of an equal
order. The service sector of the
economy has not grown to any
appreciable . extent in recent
years . On the contrary, there
has been some shrinkage of
market on account of the
saturati on point having been
reached in the a'rmy and police
recruitment, and the end of
emigration boom ' experienced
in the seventies.

The unemployment problem


is not peculiar to Sikh educated
youth . It is common to
youth
of
all
educated
communities all over the
country. But in the case of the
former, it is a relatively new
phe'nomenon whereas in the
latter's ' case it has been a
normal feature of e(;onomic life
for the last several decades
now. It is the lack of
employment opportunities in
the urban areas that makes the
educated Sikh youth which has
lost his moorings in the rural life
disgruntled and resentful. With
this state of mind, he falls an
easy prey to the propaganda of
the
fundamentalists
and
secessionists. He comes to
believe that it is the perSistent
discriminatory treatment of
Punjab and the Sikhs by the
14

5 July-19 July 1987

Centre that is responsible for


his present plight.
Budgetary Transfer
There
is
no
truth
in
allegations of this type. It is
often put out for example .. by
even
otnerwise
objective
critics, that Punjab has not
received its due share from the
Central Government budgetary
transfer, statutory, plan, and
discretionary, all combined , to
the States. On close scrutiny
this accusation against the
Centre is found to be baseless.
In the twenty-five year period,
1956-81, the gross budgetary
transfers per capita work out at
AS.1452 which is the highest
among the 4 High-Income
(Group A) States of Punjab ,
Haryana,
Maharashtra and
Gujarat.
Only two among the Middle
Income States (Group B) viz
Orissa and Assam got more in
per capita terms than Punjab
but that was largely due to their
bigger statutory entitlement
than exercise of discretion in
their favour by the Centre. The
discretionary transfer to Orissa
during the period came to
AS .476 per cap ita agaisnt
As.604 in the case of Punjab.
Only
Assam
with
a
discretionary transfer of As. 659
per capita durig the period
came above Punjab among the
6 middle income groups states,
in the matter. Similarly among
the four low-Income (Group C)
states, only Aajasthan got more
(As. 734 per capita) by way of
discretionary transfers than
Punjab.
Even more telling is the story
of flows of funds to the States
from the Central financial
institutions. Here with per
capital fund flow of As.941 in
1973-80, Punjab stood at the
top with only Maharashtra with
a figure of AS .848 coming
anywhere near it. All other
States fell far below the Punjab
share . The average for all states
and Union TerritOries was
As.393, with Bihar with AS . 152
standing at the bottom and
Haryana with AS .756 coming
next
to
Punjab
and
Maharashtra.
Credit-Deposit Ratio
nother complaint made is
that credit-deposit ratio
of nationalized banks in
Punjab is the lowest in the
country. In 1981 , for instance,
credit-deposit
ratio
of
scheduled banks for Punjab
was 45.9 percent compared to
72 .3 percent in Haryana, 80.5
percent in Maharashtra, and
91.9 percent in Tamil Nadu . But
low advance-deposit ratio does
not mean biased treatment of
the State by the banks in this
regard . The low proportion of
banI< advances to the deposits
in Punjab is due to lack of
sufficient demand in the state
for credit rather than any
deliberate policy action on the
part of banks or the Union
Finance Ministry.
No body has come out with a
complaint that banks in Punjab
have
been
systematically
discriminating against the State
in the matter of grant of loans
for productive purposes to
businessmen, industrialists .and
agriculturists
there.
The

situation arises from the simple of


surplus
funds
and
facts that there are more funds employment
of
educated
. available in the State from section of the labour force.
deposits than there is demand
Lack of Opportunities
for
them
for
investment
At Its roots, therefore, the
purposes which , in other words, Punjab economic problem is
means
that
investment that of lack of opportunities for
opportunities, there, fall far investment of available funds
short of the available surpluses and employment for surplus
produced
largely
by
the manpower. Agriculture cannot
agricultural sector.
absorb the capital and labour
The economic destiny of the surpluses that have emerged in
State lies in carrying its already the state tellingly. New avenues
prosperous agriculture to a.still of Investment and employment
higher stage of development at outside the agricultural sector
. which it is transformed into a have, therefore, to be found.
modern organized industry and These can only be industries
commercial enterprize. It is this that are linked with agriculture.
type of restructuring and
It is the whole range of agrogrowth of its economy that based
manufacturing
and
Punjab must look to rather than
processing activity that should
starting of large scale industries receive highest priority in the
of conventional type, for plans for diversification and
solving the problem of paucity ' restructuring
of
Punjab
of opportunities for investment economy.

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THE

________________F_O~-M--------------Communalism and
Secularism
Continued from page 9

cultural plurality intermingling


with electoral politics and
emerging social tensions.
Such an analYlls not merely
does nol lead us anywhere, It Is
also pessimistic, Irresponsible
and dangerous. If human
beings are at the centre of
social analysis and SCiences,
then one has to project an
analysis of a social action or
political policy, that backs the
Individuals
as
Individuals,
rather than as part of the group
~r any other category.
In dOing so It Is not enough If
the state proclaims secularism
and Intervenes on the side of
secularism. The Intervention
Itself, belt by the state or by any
other agencies, has also got to
be
iecular.
Such
an
Intervention has to steer clear of
the known categories, or any
notions of ' balancing and
appeasing; of ~qulllbrium etc.
Secularism, to be promotedin
this nation positively, needs a
fresh analysis. This analysis has
to
be
based
on
strong
foundations of India's reality
rather than on illusory notions
of national, cultural unity or
re'ligious
neutrality .
While
loyalty toone's religion , culture
or language should not be
identified as lack of secularism ,
they do not also automatically
become politically neutral or
harmless . It is when such
loyalty begin. to work in
conjunction with other factors
that they tend to inflame the
communal trends .
There Is also the need to
consciously
. distinguish
between'
religiosity
and
obscurantism. The need for
such a distinction becomes
even greater during .tlmes of
crises. Often aU people who
, belong to or follow openly the
religious customs do get to be
suspected,
Identified
with
communalism and In fact are
led to become communal or at
least recognise the communal
divide. Such a development In
turn becomes conducive to
. fundementalism
. and
heightening
of
religious
obscurantism. The problem of,
and the felt need for an Identity
makes eve" liberal (reHgous)
person fall a prey to revivalism
and reinforcing of ritualism, In
the ~ame of danger to religion.
Religion
gets
to
be
dehumanised; the clock of
social progress Is put back and
the gender subordination gets
reinforced,

THE

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New Deihl 110014

Who hal a Stake In


Secularllm

utting . it positively . one


needs to work out a material
social
base
for
secularism. Who or which are
the sections
of the Indian
.
community which havea strong
stake in secularism? First and
foremost are the poor, the self
employed, unorganised sectors
of the
They
stand
to
losecommunity
the most, . in
terms
of
their daily living but also their
very lives; curfew affects them
the most; riots and violence
spell a direct ruin to their
abodes and lives and they
become the first victims of
fundamentalism and religious
fatalism.
Also, affected of course is the
middle class. Communalism
and the accompanying violence
and riots are definitely ruinous
to the middle class, its meagre
posseSSions
in
terms
of
propert y and possessive like
shops. So too, secularism,
definitely, is the way of life for
the
liberal
intellectuals,
professionals and the upper
middle
class,
while
fundamentalism
and

women
by
t11e
Sikh
'Fundamentalists'.
Thelncreallng Inroadl which
the religioul headl are making
Into the dally IIvel of women
and the Iteady abridgement of
even wHatever little rlghtl and
freedom they already had, are
bound to make the women of
India, develop a definite Itakeln
lecul.rllm. Any number of
Itudlel
have
confirmed
women'l
oppolltlon
to
communalilm and their active
Intervention to reltore peace
and relief In Deihl, Ahmedabad
and Punjab.
Secularism,
and
not
communalism ' is thus the
" t y po I't'
maJor!
I ICS. Th e e Iec t ora I
democracy
that
India_ is
following needs to be based on
this recognition-not mer~ly in
terms
of
long' .term
considerations of the polity but
even for immediate practice,
Any effort to strengtheri and
preserve secularism in India~
has to be with these sections
that have a stake 'in law, order
and peace .

For them, religion is not an


sense of collective security of
opium;
to
them
surv i val
local community (be it the
dictates a pragmatic approach
village or the mohalla) are
to life. The elites game of strong. These community Lr
communal
collusion
and
village traditions (even if it
politico-commerical deals are smacks at times of a feudal
beyond their purview and
hangover) are good or bad,
inimical to their interests. They depending on what use one
have nothing to gain from
makes of them. They can be
destabilisation
and
are exploited as the given vehicles
oppossed
by the religio- for transporting communalism;
economic-po I"Itlca I Iea d ers h'Ip. they can also be tapped as the
To them the written words of pillars for a secular, nationalist
English newspapers, and the democratic, progressive Indiawisdom 0 f'Inte II ec t ua I'Journa Is as I't had been used so many
and
discourses
have
no times. Secularllm Ihould make
ule of the 18me medium that
meaning .
The
third
rate
magazines (which abound in Communalilm emploYI-group
this country, particularly at contactl, perlon to perlon talk
' th vernacu I
) r etc. It Ihould employ the lIood
loca I leve Isine
ars

with their sensational rumour offlcel, the religioul portall of


mongering
and
unfounded the varioul religioul headl, etc.
allegations, are the ones which
Fortunately the bulk ollhem are
ar.e e.asily accessible to them .
not
communal
In
their
India is a society where orientation.
Communalilm
community interaction is close;
harpi on the weak polntl of
where
the
tradition
of religion when It Invokel the
dissemination by word of Ilogan of "Religion being In
mouth is the most commonly danger", or when It emphailiel
effective method, and where the oblervance of religioul
faith in the neighbours and a rltualllm; above all It ..ekl to
r.ally the people around to
- - - - - - - - - - - - -......- - - - - - - - - - . . . . . . , protect and perlerve the
Secularism was adopted more as an adhoc
religion which otherwl.., In an
answer to an Immediate problem-the
emerging,
market oriented
I
capitaliit loclety II geHlng
. carnage that marked the' partition of India. ~t
pUlhed behind the lecular
,was believed that a secular policy alone
economic forcel. Unfortunately
would keep the fut.,.re unity of India Intact.
the secular and, progressive
.
II
f I dl
...
leadership and 'opinion makers'
This was because, the part t on 0 n a, an",
in this country have not
. the attendant migration and bloody rlols
were
bothered to utilise these means.
.
Secularism continues to remain
traced eisentlallyto religious dllunlty,
the luxury of the urban and
communal dl,cord and dilloyaity to the
urbane middle class elite, self
nation and .natlonal unity. Thul It lacked 8
consciously insulating itself
.
d
I
I I
f th
from the majority of the country
proper empirical an 10C a ana YI s 0
e
and indulging in self financing
.. factors that Ied to partition, of the nature of
schemes. This elite needs to
partition, of those who migrated and above all
reach out to the strife torn
those who did not. A soclo-economlc analYll1
regio!1 s, disseminate correct
information
and
counter
of the new nation known al Pakistan wal
organise them for secularism.O

traditionalism do not suit these


modernised sections.
Any amount of studies have
shown that communalism is not
a way of life with the rural folkof
India.
Secularism has its base also
among
the minorities-but
particularly
among
the
Muslims-not becau&e of their
numerical majority among the
minorities or the political
el..ntlal even to understand the nature and
insecurity, but much more
basis of Communalilm In India.
because of the empirical facts 1 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.;...._ _ _ _.......
that a majority of Muslims '"
spread nearly uniformly allover
India-are poor, iii iterate, selfemployed , artisans, agricultural
labour etc. who are the targets
of such communal attacks.
Continued from page 16
The other .social group on
whom secularism can rely detention and transfer to
from inside the Golden Temple
heavily is the women-not that Jodhpur Jail. However, Nirmal
complex
during. Operation
women have not participated Singh's mother has met him
Bluestar where he had gone to
on the side of communalism- only twice in the last three
pay obeisance . His 50-year-Old
but that women stand to lose a years, while his wife is unable to
mother, Kaushalya Kaur, a
lot more by communalism, make a trip to Jodhpur because
resident of Sharifpura locality
fundamentalism
and of financial reasons. This
in Amritsar City, told this
traditionalism. They are also reporter met Kashmir Singh
reporter just before getting into
the losers in terms of human while he was about to board a
a bus for Jodhpur that she was
lives and bread winners as well Jodhpur-bound bus run by the
going after a period of nearly six
as in terms of physical SGPC. He was carrying a threemonths to meet her son, who
necessities like house and year-Old child. POinting at his
has completed BA final studies
possessions. More seriously, grandChild, Kashmir Singh
this year while under detention.
communalism and religio.us said: Whenever Nirmal's name
Jaswinder
Singh's
three
obscurantism, in the name of is mentioned before this child
brothers have not yet met him
preserving religion and culture, and his elder sisters, all of them
during the last three years. Even
have
perpetrated
.the start crying and coax me to take
Kaushalya Kaur met him after
oppression on women.
them to their father. This time I
two months for the first time
The religious 'funda/ienta- am taking him along ."
after his arrest in June 1984.
Kashlmir Singh s~id the
The 33-year-old Jaswant
lists' be it of Hinduism, Islam or
Singh, a resident of Khalra
Sikhism, find the women the interview time of a little over half
Village near the Indo-Pak
first and easy targets for an hour with the detained son
hardly
sufficient,
border in Amritsar district, had
imposing their wh.i ms and was
gone to the Golden Temple as a
demanding
obedience and conSidering that he had to go a
long way from his village just to
pilgrim in the first week of June
shrinl<ing their rights further.
have glimpse of his son . He
1984, but never returned home
~arriage and family and free
as he was taken into custody
movement are the two spheres lamented the fact that not many
during Operation Bluestar and
where such imposition is age articles were allowed inSide the
is now languishing in Jodhpur
old and is getting further jail. Definitely admitting that he
Central Jail. Jaswant Singh was
strengthened. But of late the lacked faith in the government,
a commission agent in the
upward trend in religious he said . "The government
village , but after his detention
obscurantism is getting a makes one statement one day
his younger brother, Sukhdev
. boost\ be it in the increasing and yet another on the second
Singh, who was planning to
superstitions
among
the day." He is fed up with the
Hindu's,
the
stricter uncertainty prevailing over his
take up M Phil studies in
Punjabi in Guru Nanak Dev
enforcement of Purdah among son's fate.
Jaswinder Singh, now 22',
Univers"ity, had to discontinue
the Muslims, or the banning of
his studies and instead took up
saree wearing and forcing of was a teenager when he was put
the work of his elder brother.
head covering for the Sikh under detention after his arrest

Jodhpur Detenues

Sukhdev Singh said about his


elder brother: "He won't have
any truck with the extremist
elements once he comes out of
jail, though he is bitter because
he is being detained on
baseless charges."
Courte.y
Newl Time 28 June 1987

5 July-19 July 1987 15 .

1HE

R. N. 45763/86; D(SE) 15/86

.S_P_o_tl_i9_ht____________________F_()_~~~~-------------------------

The long trek


to
Jodhpur
Abhinav Nayar

he octogenarian Kartar
Kaur, mother of the 60year-old Gurmej Singh,
has not met her son for the last
three years, as he is lodged in
Jodhpur Jail and her bad health
does not permit Kartar Kaur to
travel. Even as she inches
towards death, she is skeptical
whether she would be able to
meet her son . She said: "Only
Wahe
Guru knows when
Gurmej Sing~ who is hard of
hearing will find release."
GurmejSingh went to the
Golden Temple complex as a
pilgrim in the first week of June
1984, but was taken into
custody
during
Operation
Bluestar. The family members
learnt about his arrest after
about ten days, but were able to
meet him only after a period of
four months in Nabha Jail. The
life of the family has been totally
disrupted
as
the
latter
happened to be the head of the
family.

Forgotten mother
he 40-year-old Inderjit
Kaur, whose house was
next to the Golden Temple
complex, had gone to the
temple on June 4, 1984, for her
daily prayers early in the
morning. But reunion with the
family has eluded her as she is
rotting away in Jodhpur Jail on

the charge of waging a war


against the state. At the time of
Operation Bluestar, when she
was put under detention, her
ydungest of the four children
was of the age of one year and
three months. Inderjit Kaur has
not seen the face of her young
child for the last three years or
so, and according to her
husband, Harsaran Singh, the
child has almost forgotten his
mother.
Inderjit Kaur was first lodged
at Nabha Jail after her arrest in
June 1984. However, her
husband could meet her only
when a habeus corpus petition
filed by a human rights activist
was admitted in the Supreme
Court. Since then, Harsaran
Singh has met her only five
times in the jail. Two young
daughters of Inderjit Kaur have
not met their mother even once
in the last three years and are
living under great trauma. The
ten-year-old girl of the couple
has lost one year of education
because of the sudden change
of circumstances as she had to
look after her youngest brother
in the absence of their mother.
Harsaran Singh is quite bitter

16

Mohinder Singh said that he


faced many difficulties in
meeting his son in Jodhpur Jail.
He could neither talk to him
properly, nor see his son from
close quarters. "I was not even
allowed to give soap to my son
in the jail, not to talk of other
things," he said. As Moh inder
Singh's other two sons are
employed outside the village,
he finds it hard to work on the
fields singlehandedly. " Had
Sukhwant been there, he would
have shared my burden of
work," he said .

put under detention during


Was prevented from doing so
Operation Bluestar in 1984.
and the same thing happened
Though Kulwant Kaur said her
when items like sugar and milk
son was a careless person who
preparations were not allowed
used to drink and loaf around,
to go in . Jasmel Kaur further
he did not have any connection
said : "The detainees are being
with extremists. She said : "So
kept in cages and are not even
much so, that he had never
allowed to meet their relatives
gone to Gurdwara." Randhir
freely . I suspect that they are
about the government attitude
Singh is now completing his
being
administered
slow
towards the Jodhpur detainees.
studies in jail and is due to
poison. That is why some of
He said : "Detainees are being
appear
in
the
BA final
them have been found tearing
used as hostages by the politiexamination in September this
::>ff their clothes." While the
cians at the centre. By detaining
year. Kulwant Kaur has not
grandfather and grandmother
them without trial, the governbeen able to meet her son for
of Jagdish Singh are desperate
ment only wants to jOstify its
more thant two years as she got
to meet their grandson, they
action in Punjab. This is why we
sick when she travelled for the
can't do so because only
have lost faith in the credibility
Search for job
first time to meet her son , who
immedia'te blood relations are
of the government. There is no
urtek Singh , a resident of was then lodged at Nabha Jail
allowed to meet the detainees.
rule of law in the country. The
Sursinghwala Village in
in Patiala district. She sounded
Flickering hope
Prime Minister of our nation is
Firozpur district went to
confused and was in tears while
wo other residents of the
more worried about Africa and the Golden Temple in the first
talking about her son .
village
had
also
Sri Lanka than about the week of June 1984, for the first
Significantly, despite being in
accompanied
Randhir
situation in Punjab or other time to offer prayers as his wish
anguish, the family members of
Singh to the Golden Temple in
parts of the country."
of getting a job had come true.
Randhir Singh have not give~ a
the first week of June 1984.
One detainee by name of However, today instead of go-by to fundamental human
They were Randhir Singh , one
Satnam Singh, a resident of counting the blessings, he is
values . This was evident when
of Bahadur Singh's eight
Batala town in Gurdaspur cursed to languish in Jodhpur
referring to the terrorist activichildren, and Manjit Singh , one
district, is suspected to have Jail. This is the treatment being
ties in Punjab. Kulwant Kaur
of Bawa Singh 's seven children.
been given slow poison in meted out to Gurtek Singh who
and Randhir Singh's brother,
While Randhir Singh was
Jodhpur Jail, as he became served the Indian Army for 15
Kashmir ~ingh, simultaneously
employed as a priest to recite
mentally unstable in the initial years, as his 60-year-old grief- quipped: " Hindus and Sikhs are
Guru Granth Sahib in the
stages. He refused to recognise stricken mother, Gurdial Kaur,
inseparable. Vllhether a Hindu
Golden Temple, Manjit Singh
his parents at one time, but is told this reporter. Gurtek Singh
or a Sikh is killed by terrorists,
happened to be a farmer. All the
feeling better now. At least, one has left behind his wife, and
the
important
thing
to
three had gone together to the
dozen detainees are reported to three school-going children
remember is that a human
Golden Temple in June 1984,
have
become
mentally aged ten, nine and eight years
being is killed . This in itself is a
never to return again .
unhinged owing to lack of respectively .
reprehensible act. "
The 55-year-old Kashmir
proper diet and maltreatment in
Guotek Singh, who was
Jagadish Singh, a resident of
Singh , a resident of Khabbe
the Jail.
tortured during his stay at
Chabha Village in Firozpur
Rajputan Village in Amritsar
, . . . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -......- - - - district had gone with his uncle
district had completely lost
to Amritsar on May 30, 1984, to
hope about the survival of his
Detainees are being used as hostages by
buy motor instruments. While
son , Nirmal Singh, who had
the politicians at the centre. By detaining
his uncle Darshan Singh
gone to the Golden Temple to
them without trial, the government only wants
returned after buying the
offer prayers for his threegoods, the teenaged Jagdish
month-old son just before
to justify Its action In Punjab. This is why we
stayed behind to attend Guru
Operation Bluestar began. The
have lost faith In the credibility of the
Arjan Dev's martyrdom day
celebrations at the Golden
whole
family
spent
and
government.. There Is no rule' of law in the
Temple . According to his sister
agonising four weeks until the
country. The Prime Minister of our nation is
.
h' f
"f
local police informed him that
Manjir Kaur, It was IS Irst VISI
his son was alive and under
more worried about Africa and.Srl Lanka than
to
the
Golden
Temple .
However, Jagdish Singh never
detention . Nirmal Singh was
about the sltuat~on in Punjab or other parts of
returned home afterwards as he
taken to Ladha Kothi Jail in
the country.
was detained during Operation
Sangrur after initial interrogaL _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _....... Bluestar by the security forces.
tion at an Army camp in
Amritsar. He was severely
Jagdish Singh had just cleared
tortured during his confineThe 19-year-old Sukhwant . Ladha Kothi jail in Sangrur (His matric at that time . The 50-yearment at Ladha Kothi , and his
Singh, a resident of Jalalabad name figures in the Tiwana old mother of Jagdish Singh,
name figures among the 90
Village under the jurisdiction of Commission report), had gone Jasmel Kaur, whose eldest son
Verowal police station in with two other pilgrims, namely is in the Army, told this reporter
detainees mentioned by Tiwana
Amritsar district, had gone to Gurdev Singh and Mukund that her son 's eyesight had
Commission who were tortured
the Golden Temple on June 1, Singh . While Mukund Singh deteriorated
because
of
by the police inside the jail.
1984, as a pilgrim, but has not was killed during Operation maltreatment in Jodhpur Jail.
Kashmir Singh has met his son
seen the threshold of his house Bluestar and Gurdev Singh was When she tried to pass on a
nearly a dozen times since his
for more than three years now, released by the security forces, medicine to him in the jail, she
Continued on page 15
as he was whisked away by the Gurtek Singh continues to ~--------...:....---....:..-----------.,
security
forces
during languish in jail despite the fact
Hindus and Sikhs are inseparable. Whether
Operation Bluestar. After being that the village sarpanch gave a
a Hindu or a Sikh is killed by terrorists, the
kept in Nabha Jail for some written undertaking to the
time, he was shifted to Jodhpur police that he was innocent. .
important thing to remember is that a human
Jail along with many others in
The 60-year-old Kulwant
being Is killed. This in itself is a reprehensible
March 1985. Sukhwant Singh Kaur, mother of Randhir Singh
.
.
J .
ac t .
was badly tortured . dUring who is in Jodhpur all at
b'
k t.
d
interrogation at Nabha Jail. The present, lives in kDehriwal
The detainees are emg ep m cages an
55-year-old Mohinder Singh, Village, just one km from the
are not even allowed to meet their relatives
father of Sukhwant Singh, Indo-Pak border, in Gurdaspur
freely. I suspect that they are being
learnt about his son's arrest district. Her agony is deep, as of
d I . t
d I
.
Th t'
h
only two weeks after Operation her three sons, only one is living
a m nlS ere s ow pOison.
a IS w y some
6luestar. Since then, he has with her at the moment. One
of them have been found tearing off their
gone to meet his youngest son committed suicide some time
clothes.
in jail a number of times. ago, while Randhir Singh was L.._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _-'

5 July-19 July 1987


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